Town budget up slightly
by Rolf Parker
Feb 04, 2017 | 2049 views | 2 2 comments | 102 102 recommendations | email to a friend | print
READSBORO- Voters at Town Meeting next month will be asked to approve a town budget with expenditures of $1,025,597 which is only $2,735 more than the current year.

Selectboard member Ted Hopkins said that the selectboard had cut $25,000 from the fund used to cover the anticipated costs of replacing trucks and other heavy equipment. He called the cuts “unwanted” and said that the board was hoping extra dollars from the Avangrid windmill project would help restore some of the funds to the machinery fund in the near future.

Amber Holland said she was seeking reelection as town clerk and treasurer. Sue Bailey, who was appointed to the school board following the resignation of Cherie Giddings, will be seeking election to that position.

“I was appointed in June to a position vacated due to a resignation,” said Bailey. “Since that time I’ve come to understand the complex environment of a school, and with pending Act 46, the many changes that will occur, I believe we are all working to provide the best education we can to our children. I would like to continue to be a part of this process and hope that the contribution I make will be valuable to our students and community.”

Hopkins is not seeking reelection to his seat on the selectboard, and no one else has filed the paperwork to be on the ballot for that position.

One article on the warning asks townspeople to exempt Readsboro Hometown Redevelopment Inc. from payment of property taxes on the Bullock Building for five years.

“Supporting the petition for Readsboro Hometown Redevelopment Inc. to become a tax exempt nonprofit will allow RHR to invest the money directly in the Bullock Building restoration project,” said Bailey, who is the president of the organization. “Supporting this petition is supporting the future of our community.”

One article on the warning asks the town to appropriate $10,000 for the cemetery restoration fund and $5,000 for the the capital reserve fund for new ornate wrought iron gates at the village cemetery.

“The $10,000 for the gravestone restoration project is the same amount as voted last year and $5,000 less than two years ago” said Forrest Hicks, cemetery committee member. “The townspeople and out-of-town people that visit our cemeteries are very impressed with what is happening in our cemeteries. We are dedicated to continuing this work, and believe it is in the best interest of the town. The secretary of state, Jim Condos, has requested a visit to our cemeteries in the spring.”

Another article asks for $700 to fund the work of Dave and Terrie Dumaine, who provide meals to senior citizens in the valley.

During a special meeting of the school board on Wednesday, January 5, school board chair Mary King said the school budget had a decrease of more than $35,000 in spending, from $1,430,777 to $1,395,729. According to the department of taxes, the common level of appraisal for Readsboro increased from 113.83 % in 2016 to 121.7 % in 2017. However, King said that because there was a decrease in the number of equalized students, the tax rate was still going to go up. According to Atwood, the residential tax rate was going to increase from 95.48 cents to $1.114, an increase of about 16 cents over last year.

“Bottom line is that we are losing equalized students and the tax rate will go up even though the budget will be going down,” said King.

Town Meeting will be on March 6 at 7 pm in the school auditorium.
Comments
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Larry Hopkins
|
February 09, 2017
The total operating budget may be down about $2700, but the Raise and Appropriate appears to be up about $57,000...this shuffling / reducing listed is made up in an article asking taxpayers for $60,000 as 1/2 of a two-year sidewalk grant to replace all sidewalks in town. By approving the $60,000 now it will mandate that same $60,000 be raised in 2018 as the project is $600,000 with a 20% match of $120,000...the expenditures are about the same , but the tax rate increases over

6 cents and we cannibalize other items to accommodate.

As far as the Readsboro Hometown Development asking for a tax exemption....when they first took on this project and had a meeting at the school with an engineer who stated the restoration would be between $1,500,000--$2,000,000 and it would never cost the taxpayers of Readsboro a dime...now I guess they want a whole lotta dimes.

I called the Agency of Commerce and Community Development to ask on the status of their grant money and why it appears to have stagnated. I was told that the last grant allocation did not yield enough progress in order to be eligible for continuing grants, and at this time the previous expected revenues have dried up. There has been nothing submitted to that office since 2012. What expectations does the town envision by exempting them now?

There is a slight misinterpretation in the reported CLA's in the article. FY 2018 which is the budget being voted on in March 2017 has an assigned CLA of 129.56% ( which to my knowledge and experience is one of the highest I've ever seen in the state )...This is a good tax adjustor to falsely keep the education tax low, but it also says that the average sales prices of real estate is running about 30% below its assessed value.

Larry Hopkins

Len Chapman
|
February 10, 2017
Here we go again...


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