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Shoreham town meeting preview 2020

SHOREHAM — Shoreham residents will field a 2020 town meeting warning that includes multiple financial requests and referenda, including an article seeking $30,000 for a study to determine if the town-owned Farnham property is appropriate for quarrying.
Shoreham officials have been seeking residents’ input on how to use a 312-acre piece of town-owned land in the village area, believing it could accommodate a variety of uses, including affordable housing, a nature trail and/or a small commercial development. In 1999 Shoreham residents voted 271-58 to purchase the Farnham land for $130,000. Local leaders had recommended the purchase because of the parcel’s close proximity to the village and because a portion of it could be used for a $2 million municipal sewer system, which residents also approved in 1999, by a 272-61 tally.
The selectboard is proposing a fiscal year 2021 highway budget of $888,736, up slightly from the $881,589 residents OK’d for the current years. The General Fund request comes in at $369,697, an increase of around $10,000 compared to this year’s $358,817 spending plan.
In other town meeting business, local residents will be asked to:
•  Transfer $40,000 from the General Fund to the Buildings & Grounds Reserve Fund.
•  Move $20,000 from the Highway Fund to the Highway Equipment Reserve Fund.
•  Borrow up to $110,000 for a 2020 Western Star truck.
•  Decide whether to vote on annual social service agency requests at the annual town gathering, rather than by Australian ballot.
There are no contested elections on the Shoreham ballot this year. Those running unopposed include Will Stevens, moderator, one year; Peter Lynch, selectboard, three years; Molly Francis and Eric Boire, each for one year on the selectboard; and Tiffany Wyman, library trustee, five years.
Still, local residents will help decide two contested elections for the Addison Central School District board. One of them involves Ellie Bishop challenging Jennifer Nuceder for a three-year term representing Salisbury on the 13-member panel. The other features Christin Gardner and incumbents Mary Gill and Victoria Jette vying for two available slots representing Middlebury.
Shoreham is one of four Addison Central School District Communities that will permit a public vote on two petitioned items that the ACSD board had declined to place on the district ballot. The first article recommends that each ACSD board member be elected only by the voters of his or her hometown; candidates are currently elected at-large in the seven-town district. The second item suggests that no ACSD school be closed unless such a move is endorsed by a majority of voters in the town in which the school is located.
Both questions are non-binding.
Shoreham voters on March 3 will join Bridport, Cornwall, Middlebury, Ripton, Salisbury and Weybridge folks in fielding an ACSD K-12 education budget proposal of $39,507,837 for the 2020-2021 academic year. The spending plan reflects a 3.74-percent increase that would essentially allow the district to maintain current educational programming for children in pre-K through grade 12.
If approved, the ACSD budget is projected to drive Shoreham’s homestead education property tax rate to $1.73 per $100 in property value, up from the current $1.59.
Residents will also cast ballots on the proposed 2020-2021 Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center budget of $3,854,752, which reflects an 11.42% increase compared to this year’s spending plan.
Shoreham’s town meeting will be held at the local elementary school beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 2. Australian ballot voting will take place at the town office from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3.

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