Bristol Town Meeting Preview 2019

BRISTOL — Bristol will hold its annual town meeting at Holley Hall on Monday, March 4, at 7 p.m. Voting by Australian ballot will take place the next day, March 5, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., also at Holley Hall.
Voters are asked to approve a total $2,736,486 in town spending, which represents a 3.8 percent increase over last year.
However, it is important to note that approval of two articles on the town meeting warning would reduce total proposed town spending for fiscal year 2020 by as much as $15,710, which would result in a spending increase of only 3.2 percent.
Articles 5 and 6 ask voters to approve final payments on two loans connected with past renovations of Holley Hall, both of which payments would be taken from a 2017 General Fund surplus.
Paying off the Holley Hall acoustics loan would reduce 2020 General Fund spending by $5,200, and paying off the Holley Hall remodel loan would reduce 2020 General Fund spending by $10,510.
Total proposed General Fund spending is therefore dependent upon the outcomes of Articles 5 and 6.
If neither article passes, total General Fund spending, if approved, would decrease from last year by nearly 2 percent to $910,426.
Highway spending, if approved, would decrease very slightly to $774,101.
Recreation Department spending, on the other hand, would increase by 13 percent to $283,863.
Voted appropriations in support of local organizations, if approved, would remain unchanged at $105,756.
Total spending for Town Reserve Fund accounts, if approved, would climb to $490,000, a 58 percent increase attributable in large measure to the inclusion this year of two line items — the Fire Vehicle Fund and the Sidewalk Fund — that were warned (and approved) separately last year.
Two of those accounts would also see additional increases, if approved by voters:
•  $50,000 to be transferred to the Capital Building Fund from a 2017 General Fund surplus.
•  $17,000 to be transferred to the Capital Sidewalk Fund from a 2018 General Fund surplus.
Lawrence Memorial Library asks voters to approve $140,340 in spending, a 1.8 percent increase.
The Bristol Cemetery Association requests a 32 percent increase in spending, to $29,000, after asking for a 214 percent increase last year.
Voters are also asked to approve $1,500 each for the Turning Point Center and Habitat for Humanity.
People who live in the Bristol Police District (primarily the village) on Town Meeting Day will consider a proposed budget of $468,769, a 1.6 percent increase over last year.
John “Peeker” Heffernan is running unopposed to keep his two-year seat on the selectboard. Ted Lylis must defeat challenger Ian Albinson to keep his selectboard seat for three more years.
Three of Bristol’s five seats on the Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD) board are up for reelection. Krista Siringo (two-year term) and Elizabeth Sayre (three-year term) are running unopposed to keep their seats, but no candidates have come forward for the third, after Erin Lathrop decided not to run for a three-year term. If a write-in candidate does not emerge and the seat remains vacant after Town Meeting Day, the selectboard will appoint someone to a one-year term. That person would then have to run for election next year to keep their seat.
MAUSD held its own annual meeting for Feb. 26. On Town Meeting Day, Bristol residents voting on town business will also, along with residents of four other school district towns, be asked to adopt a $30,950,235 MAUSD budget — an 8.17 percent increase per equalized pupil.

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