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.