With regard to the town budget, the general fund expenditure for operational expenses (Article 14 ) is up 1.7%, or $36,964.31. General fund expenditures for operational expenses are budgeted at $2,204,674.73 this year. Highway fund expenditures for operational expenses (Article 15) are up 0.7% or $9,812.85, budgeted at $1,383,843.52.
The capital building improvement fund’s appropriation is up $30,000 from last year, with $80,000 proposed for this year. According to treasurer Marco Tallini, one project in consideration for the funds is an entry ramp at Dover Town Hall in East Dover. The capital paving and capital equipment funds’ proposed appropriations are staying the same as last year, with $650,000 appropriated for the capital paving fund and $250,000 appropriated for the capital equipment fund. No noteworthy projects are planned for either.
Missing from the warning is a request for the town’s legal defense fund. In 2016, voters approved $50,000 for the fund, and in 2015, $65,000 was approved. According to vice chair Victoria Capitani, over $100,000 remains in the fund. At the board’s January 3 meeting, chair Randall Terk said the board would not pursue adding additional money to the fund, which was originally established by former chair William “Buzzy” Buswell.
The projected municipal tax rate is 42 cents.
Article 21 of the warning asks whether the voters will authorize the selectboard to apply a surplus from the current fiscal year to reduce taxes in the following fiscal year. For this year, as of June 30, there was a surplus of $725,000. Of that amount, approximately $303,000 was used to offset this year’s tax rate by roughly 3 cents.
Two selectboard positions will be voted on by Australian ballot on Town Meeting day. Victoria Capitani is running uncontested for her two-year-term seat. Linda Holland, currently serving a three-year term, will not run again. Sandy MacDougall and Joshua Cohen have each submitted petitions to run for the seat.
There are also a number of issues on the table for the school in Dover, most notably whether the town should merge with Wardsboro and Marlboro under Act 46.
The school board will see changes, and the town will also vote on who will represent Dover on a unified school district’s board should the merger with Wardsboro and Marlboro be voted in the affirmative.
Detailed coverage of the school side of the Town Meeting warning will be available next week.