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Starksboro town meeting preview 2020

STARKSBORO — Starksboro will hold its annual meeting in the Robinson Elementary School multipurpose room on Saturday, Feb. 29, at 9 a.m.
Voting by Australian ballot to elect town and school district officers, approve the unified school district and regional technical school budgets, and choose presidential primary candidates will take place on Tuesday, March 3, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., also at the Robinson School.
At Saturday’s town meeting, Starksboro voters are asked to approve $1,036,072 in General Fund town spending next year, a 1.7% increase.
If approved, contributions to the Fire Equipment Reserve Fund would increase by 4% to $49,268. Contributions to the Road Equipment Reserve Fund would increase by 4% to $97,267. And the Paving Reserve Fund would remain level at $40,000.
The Starksboro Public Library is asking for $31,950, a 6.5% increase in spending over this year.
Funding for in-town requests, if approved, would decrease by 3.3% to $44,425. Among those requests is a $3,000 increase for the Starksboro School Age Program, and the addition of a $3,000 line item for the Starksboro Meeting House (which was proposed in its own warning article last year and increased on Town Meeting Day to a one-time sum of $10,000).
Formerly listed among in-town requests, a proposed contribution of $6,000 in support of the Starksboro Cooperative Preschool (an increase of 33% over this year) has been broken out in Article 10.
Out-of-town requests to 24 entities, if approved, would decrease by 7.4% to $27,380. Two items are responsible for the difference over this year: A proposed contribution of $2,106 for Addison County Transit Resources (a 23% increase over last year) has been broken out in Article 8, and one item — a $500 contribution to Bristol Family Center — has been removed.
A new budget item has been added to the town meeting warning this year, prompted in part by discussion at last year’s town meeting: $3,400 for the support of Richmond Rescue.
Each of Starksboro’s candidates for selectboard this year is running unopposed.
Incumbent Greg Cota is running for another three-year term.
Greg Hahr, who was appointed to the selectboard last fall, following Tony Porter’s resignation, is running for election to complete the term.
And John Painter is running for election to the seat now held by Keegan Tierney, who has decided not to seek another term.
One of Starksboro’s two seats on the Mount Abraham Unified School District board is up for election this year. Incumbent Caleb Elder is running unopposed for a three-year term.
MAUSD was scheduled to hold its own annual meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Mount Abraham Union High School.
On Town Meeting Day, Starksboro residents voting on town business will also, along with residents of four other school district towns, be asked to approve a $31,399,182 MAUSD spending plan for next year, about 1.45% more than this year’s adopted budget.
The proposed MAUSD budget would increase Starksboro’s school tax rate by almost 13.5 cents, or 8.2%, to $1.776 per $100 of assessed property value for a home.

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