2018 Starksboro town meeting preview

STARKSBORO — Starksboro will hold its annual town meeting in the Robinson Elementary School multipurpose room on Saturday, March 3, at 9 a.m. Voting by Australian ballot to elect town and school district officers, and to approve the unified school district budget and Mt. Abe renovation bond, will take place on Tuesday, March 6, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., also at the Robinson School.
Voters are asked to approve a 4 percent increase in General Fund spending to $1,110,385.
Contributions to the Fire Equipment Reserve Fund would increase by 3 percent to $45,993, but would stay roughly the same for the Road Equipment Reserve Fund, at $89,072.
If approved, the Starksboro Public Library would see a 4.7 percent increase in spending to $28,750.
The selectboard is also asking to borrow two sums: $167,000 to replace a utility truck and $45,000 to purchase a three-quarter-ton dump truck with plow and sander. Both loans would be repaid over five years from the Road Equipment Reserve Fund.
In addition to level-funded in-town requests totaling $40,925 and out-of-town requests totaling $29,588, voters are asked to set aside $2,000 to purchase food for the Starksboro Food Shelf.
And looking ahead to the replacement of Fire Station No. 2 and the renovation of the historic Jerusalem Schoolhouse, voters are asked to appropriate $25,000 for surveying and other preparations.
Nancy Boss and Eric Cota are running to replace Susan Jeffries for a two-year term on the selectboard, and Koran Cousino is running unopposed to keep her selectboard seat for a three-year-term.
Stephen Rooney is running unopposed to keep his seat on the Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD) board.
Town Meeting Day agendas will no longer include budget discussions for individual schools. The new MAUSD Board scheduled its own annual meeting for this Feb. 27, and a public information hearing on the bond proposed for the renovation of Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School on Feb. 28. On Tuesday, Starksboro residents voting on town business will also, along with residents in the other four school district towns, be asked to adopt a $28,343,828 MAUSD budget — a 1 percent spending increase per equalized pupil — and the $29.5 million bond. The bond would cover renovation of the 50-year-old Mount Abe high school building. Voters in the school district have rejected two similar bonds — both for more money — in the past three years.

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