Town meeting results: Ferrisburgh
FERRISBURGH — Ferrisburgh residents’ decision-making was focused on financial matters at town meeting on Saturday morning and in voting booths on Tuesday.
Town spending measures were decided from the floor of town meeting.
Voters backed without amendment the selectboard’s proposed town budget of $2,116,148, which will increase spending by about $57,000. Most line items in the budget are level or close to it, but health insurance costs and the town’s contracts for police and fire services are increasing, according to officials.
The selectboard also asked voters to increase the town’s Building Maintenance Fund by $20,000 to $50,000. The town office building has a few issues, notably its roof, officials said, while a group is also working on restoring the town-owned Union Meeting Hall, which has both structural and cosmetic problems. After discussion, residents instead amended that article to increase the contribution by $40,000 to a total addition of $70,000.
Officials estimated approving the budget, nonprofit donations, and the $70,000 increase could increase the town tax rate by around 2 cents, or $20 per $100,000 of assessed value. That figure could drop if the grand list grows.
Voters on Tuesday returned incumbent selectboard member Jessica James to office for another three years without opposition. She will be joined on the board by newcomer Christopher “CJ” Campbell, a retired Vermont State Police trooper who has been serving as Ferrisburgh’s delinquent tax collector. His election to the selectboard will mean the town must find a new tax collector. He replaces Chairman Rick Ebel, who stepped down.
Two candidates for the Addison Northwest School District Board were also elected without opposition, incumbent Bill Clark and former Ferrisburgh Central School board member Chris Kayhart, who filed when incumbent Laurie Gutowski announced she would not run again.
In Presidential primary voting, Ferrisburgh Democrats backed Bernie Sanders with 417 votes. Trailing were Joe Biden (200 votes), Michael Bloomberg (91), Elizabeth Warren (89), Pete Buttigieg (24), Amy Klobuchar (14), Tulsi Gabbard (4), and Andrew Yang (3).
On the Republican side, Donald Trump outpolled Bill Weld, 175-25, and Rocky De La Fuente picked up 1 vote.
Ferrisburgh joined the other four ANWSD communities in backing by a wide margin the proposed 2020-2021 ANWSD budget of $21,842,595 that will reduce spending by about $300,000, or 1%, over the current year.
ANWSD officials said the plan will avoid programming cuts and close Addison Central School for use as an elementary school, instead repurposing it for alternative education. Addison’s elementary students will attend Vergennes Union Elementary School, officials said.
According to late estimates, the district-wide tax rate would rise by almost 5 cents if the budget is approved.
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