Lincoln Town Meeting Preview 2019

LINCOLN — The annual town meeting in Lincoln will be held in Burnham Hall on Monday, March 4, at 6 p.m.
Voting by Australian ballot to elect town officers, and to approve the unified school district and regional technical school budgets, will take place on Tuesday, March 5, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Lincoln Town Office.
Voters will be asked to approve a 0.5 percent increase in general fund spending, to $387,073, of which $313,053 would be raised by taxes.
Proposed highway fund spending would see a 7.4 percent increase to $1,052,136, but because of an anticipated increase in nontax revenues and surplus money, the selectboard’s request for highway funds would actually decrease by more than 11 percent, to $683,810.
The selectboard also hopes voters will approve spending up to $15,000 from the Town Capital Plan Fund Balance so an emergency generator can be installed at the Town Garage.
In anticipation of future paving needs in the town, Article 8 asks the voters to authorize a $100,000 deposit into a Paving Reserve Fund, the use of which would be subject to voter approval.
Nine additional articles on the agenda ask for voter approval on 23 specific line items totaling $139,506 — $500 more than last year — including $44,000 for the Lincoln Library and $55,896 for the Lincoln Volunteer Fire Company, both of which are level funded.
According to the town’s FY 2020 budget, the total estimated tax rate would be $0.6506 per $100 of assessed value, broken down as follows:
•  general fund: $0.1780 (up less than half a cent).
•  highway fund: $0.3900 (down a nickel).
•  paving reserve fund: $0.0570 (new this year).
•  additional requested funds: $.0243 (nearly level).
•  exempt properties: $.0013 (level).
An additional article, added by petition, consists of a “Pro-Democracy Resolution” that, if approved, would affirm the town’s commitment to voting integrity and voting rights.
Three incumbents on the Lincoln selectboard are running for reelection this year, all unopposed: Will Sipsey, three-year term; Oakley Smith, two-year term; and Ellie Bryant, who was appointed to the selectboard last August after James Needham stepped down, is running to fulfill the remainder of his term, which expires in March 2020.
The Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD) was scheduled its own annual meeting for Feb. 26. On Town Meeting Day, Lincoln 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.
One of Lincoln’s two seats on the MAUSD board is also up for election this year, but because current board member Amy Heath has decided to step down, and no one turned in a petition to run in her place, that portion of Lincoln’s ballot will be blank. 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 to keep their seat.

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