January 19th, 2012
BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Union Middle and High School board on Tuesday approved a proposed budget that would level-fund education spending for next fiscal year.
Under the proposal, overall expenses would increase 0.7 percent to $13,542,142, but education spending — the part of the budget that directly affects tax rates — would remain the same as this year at $11,309,068. Additionally, the per pupil spending rate would increase 4.1 percent next year to $13,552.
How might this proposed budget affect property tax rates?
FERRISBURGH — From a distance, the vertical green panels revolving in a back field at Boundbrook Farm in Ferrisburgh look more like an art installation than a piece of farm equipment.
But don’t be deceived: Come spring, the unconventional windmill will pump as many as 150 gallons of water a minute into farmer Erik Andrus’s 5-acre rice paddy, day in and day out.
MIDDLEBURY — Just before the Jan. 12 second anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake, three local moms early this month delivered more than 700 pairs of shoes collected in Addison County to needy children on the Caribbean island.
“There is an incredible culture of humility that happens when you take a trip like this because we come from a place of such excess by comparison,” said Andrea Ward, a New Haven resident, who made the Jan. 4-8 relief trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with Maria Graham and Kelly Hickey.
UPDATE 1/23/12: This story has a major inaccuracy: Due to a calculation error by Addison Central Supervisory Union (ACSU), the proposed 2012-2013 Ripton Elementary School spending plan will not require two votes at town meeting after all. Please see the end of the article for more details, and stay tuned for an article with updated ACSU budget information.
VERGENNES — The Vergennes Union Elementary School board on Monday made final a decision to put before voters on Town Meeting Day a $3.91 million budget proposal for 2012-13 that would increase current spending by $20,500, or 0.5 percent.
Addison Northwest Supervisory Union officials are cautiously optimistic that spending proposal, combined with the recently proposed $8.97 million Vergennes Union High School spending plan, would lead to little or no school tax hikes in the three towns served by VUES.
MIDDLEBURY — The Better Middlebury Partnership (BMP) wants to hear local business owners’ views on the challenges and advantages of operating in Addison County’s shire town, so that future changes can be made to improve local commerce.
With that in mind, the BMP is circulating its second survey of the winter, this one featuring 32 questions polling Middlebury business owners on their impressions of municipal services, help they might need to become more prosperous, and what local events seem to best stimulate customer traffic.
BRISTOL — The Bristol selectboard at their Monday meeting continued ironing out a proposed town spending plan for the next fiscal year, addressing budgets for the recreation department, the Lawrence Memorial Library and the town’s waste disposal programs.
The recreation department spending plan for next fiscal year, which has not yet been finalized, is likely to see a noticeable hike, according to Town Administrator Bill Bryant.
VERGENNES — Vergennes aldermen on Jan. 10 adopted two articles for voter consideration on Town Meeting Day: one that would devote $37,000 to improvements to the city’s recreation area and another that would end the practice of mailing annual reports to every Vergennes household.
Aldermen also discussed adopting a conflict of interest policy, possibly at their next meeting, set for Jan. 31, and broadened their search for a new police station site.