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2018 Whiting town meeting preview

WHITING — Whiting voters will gather at town hall at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday to choose town officers, weigh in on proposed town spending, and to discuss two possible building projects.
Officers will be selected by nomination from the floor of town meeting. Town Clerk Gail Quenneville said she believes most or all of those elected officials whose terms are expiring are willing to serve again, including selectboard Chairman Bob Wood, Road Commissioner Paul Quesnel, Lister Dennis Ethridge, and Auditors Elizabeth Curran and Alison Remy. Five other offices are also on the ballot.
Curran is also the moderator and is willing to accept that task as the first order of business.
The selectboard has proposed $328,962.50 of spending for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, with $233,689.10 to be raised by taxes.
Current spending called for $351,923 of spending, with $227,941 to be raised by property taxation, an amount that translates to an increase of about 2.5 percent in the money to be collected despite the smaller budget.
According to the meeting warning, the selectboard would also like to discuss a loan to fund a new town garage and a rebuild of a portion of the fire station. That discussion is described as non-binding.
Polls will be open on Tuesday, March 6, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Whiting Town Hall to vote by Australian ballot on the budget for the Otter Valley Unified Union School District, which includes the towns of Whiting, Leicester, Brandon, Goshen, Pittsford and Sudbury. Voters will be asked to approve $19,223,835 OVUUSD spending plan, which represents a roughly $550,000 cut in spending, or 1.22 percent, from the current budget.
The proposed budget calls for Whiting Elementary School to become a preschool center. Sudbury and Leicester schools would split kindergarten through third grade at one school and grades four to six at the other, although a decision has not been made about which will host which grades.
Whiting is also casting ballots on a representative to the OVUUS board. Whiting representative Rebecca Bertrand is uncontested for re-election.Local voters can also vote for a three-year at-large seat on the board; current occupant Greg Bernhardt — a Leicester resident — is the only name on the ballot.

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