Addison town meeting preview 2020

ADDISON — Financial decisions and a contested race to represent Addison on the Addison Northwest School District board highlight Addison’s Town Meeting Day warning.
All of Addison’s choices will be made by Australian ballot from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the town clerk’s office on Tuesday, March 3. Residents also are invited to gather in Addison Central School’s auditorium at 7 p.m. on the Monday evening before to discuss town issues.
The race for the ANWSD board is between George Eisenhardt and Amy Kittredge. They are seeking to replace George Lawrence, one of several board members choosing not to seek re-election.
Also on the ballot will be two long-term selectboard incumbents whose current terms conclude on Town Meeting Day, Rob Hunt and Roger Waterman. Both filed for another term and face no opposition on Tuesday.
The Addison selectboard proposed 2020-2021 administrative and highway budgets for voter approval on March 3. If both budgets are approved, those separately warned spending measures would increase town spending by about 4%, or about $47,500, to $1,157,841.
That figure does not include about $57,000 of charitable requests that residents will vote on separately.
The selectboard is seeking $774,037 to maintain town roads, an increase of around 1%, and $383,804 to support the rest of Addison’s government functions. That proposed administrative budget is up by almost 11%, or about $37,500.
The board hopes to add a part-time position in the town clerk’s office that would cost an additional $15,600, and another $10,000 is needed for an audit expected in advance of a bond proposal that Addison expects to make for a community septic system to serve the fire station, the Addison Community Baptist Church, and Addison Town Hall. Addison hopes at some point to renovate its long-vacant town hall into new town offices.
The tax impact of those spending increases will be offset by fund balances in both the highway budget ($33,220) and administrative budget ($24,044).
On March 3 Addison will join the other four ANWSD communities to weigh in on a proposed 2020-2021 budget of $21,842,595 that would reduce spending by about $300,000, or 1%, over the current year.
ANWSD officials said the plan would avoid programming cuts and close Addison Central School (ACS) for use as an elementary school, instead repurposing it for alternative education. Addison’s elementary students would attend Vergennes Union Elementary School regardless of the vote outcome, officials said.
According to late-January estimates, the district-wide tax rate would rise by almost 4 cents if the budget is approved. Without the ACS closure, that increase would have been closer to 10 cents, according to ANWSD officials.

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