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Brandon town meeting wrap-up 2018

BRANDON — All floor and ballot items passed on Town Meeting Day in Brandon this year.
The $1.4 million bond question to pay for infrastructure improvements to Park Street passed overwhelmingly, 488-123.
Much of Monday night’s town meeting discussion at the Brandon Town Hall centered on the details of the proposed plan. The project, as outlined by Selectman Devon Fuller and Aldrich & Elliot engineer Jason Booth, would update the water, stormwater runoff, and wastewater systems under the road, in keeping with the state’s push to decrease pollutants running into Lake Champlain. The Park Street plan includes bio-swales, vegetated areas spread along the sides of Park Street that would catch rainwater. The plantings in the swales would filter out phosphorus, the chief pollutant, as the stormwater gradually runs into the underground stormwater catch basins.
The project is set to begin in early 2018 and end by winter that year. The whole road, which has been deteriorating for years, will be leveled and graded once the infrastructure projects are completed. A coat of paving will be put down, and in 2020 when the Vermont Agency of Transportation re-paves Route 73 over Brandon Gap, they will come down Park Street and do the final paving.
In a response to a plea for more urgent work on the road, Town Manger Dave Atherton said that was being looked at.
With the positive bond vote, the town will now apply for grants to fund as much of the Park Street project as possible, likely bringing the total cost well below the estimated $1.4 million. The end cost will be raised through water and sewer rate increases in concert with Brandon Fire District No. 1.
Brandon voters also approved a proposed $3,138,185 municipal budget by a solid margin, 443-178. The amount to be raised by taxes is $2,578,045, a 2.75 percent increase over the current spending plan
The budget was highlighted by increased revenues and increased health care costs.
All of the ballot appropriations for various groups and non-profit organizations passed, including town funds to support the Brandon Free Public Library, the Brandon Senior Center, and the Brandon Area Rescue Squad.
All town seats but one were filled by incumbents with no challengers: Bill Moore, town moderator; Seth Hopkins, Brian Coolidge and Tracy Wyman, selectboard; Laura Miner, trustee of public funds (she got the seat filled for many years by Carolyn Whittaker, who recently stepped down); and Sharron Kenney, library trustee.

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