Bridport town meeting preview 2020

BRIDPORT — Bridport residents at their town meeting next Tuesday will be asked to bankroll a major bridge/culvert project and a new, one-ton truck for the highway department.

Article 34 on the town meeting warning asks voters for up to $400,000 to invest in some, or all, of the following projects: Replacement of the Middle Road Bridge, replacement of one culvert each on Mountain Road and Lake Street, and replacement of double culverts on Rattlin Bridge Road. Total costs of the work have been placed at $1.27 million, and the town is seeking state and federal grant money to underwrite some the expenses, according selectboard Chair Joan Huestis.

Article 33 on the warning seeks to amend the amount of money that Bridport residents agreed to spend back in 2018 on the culvert replacement project on Basin Harbor Road at the west end of Dead Creek. Voters had OK’d the use of $85,812 in general fund balance as the town’s share of the total $429,160 cost. The board is now seeking permission to up that amount to $90,000 in order to finish the project, now estimated at $450,000.

Other articles on Bridport’s 2020 town meeting warning seek:

•  $45,000 to replace the town’s 2012 Dodge one-ton truck, a sum that could be reduced through sale of that older vehicle.

•  Creation of a Masonic/Community Hall maintenance reserve fund that would be seeded with daily rental fees of $25.

•  A combined total of $1,362,503 for the fiscal year 2020 public works and general fund budgets, of which $1,126,666 would be raised through property taxes. That’s up 4.2% from the $1,081,259 that voters agreed to tax themselves for town/highway expenses this year.

•  A combined total of $58,358 in funding requests from various Addison County charitable organizations that serve Bridport residents.

There are no contested elections on this year’s town meeting ballot in Bridport. Those running unopposed include Tim Howlett, moderator, one year; Jessica Stocker, selectboard, three years; Robert Sunderland, selectboard, two years; Ernest Audet, water commissioner, one year.

But local residents will field two contested elections for the Addison Central School District board. One of them involves Ellie Bishop challenging Jennifer Nuceder for a three-year term representing Salisbury on the 13-member panel. The other features Christin Gardner and incumbents Mary Gill and Victoria Jette vying for two available slots representing Middlebury.

Local residents on March 3 will join Cornwall, Middlebury, Ripton, Salisbury, Shoreham and Weybridge folks in fielding an ACSD budget proposal of $39,507,837 for the 2020-2021 academic year. The spending plan reflects a 3.74% increase that would essentially allow the district to maintain current educational programming for children in pre-K through grade 12.

If approved, the ACSD budget is projected to drive Bridport’s homestead education property tax rate to $1.76 per $100 in property value, up from the current $1.60.

Residents will also cast ballots on the proposed 2020-2021 Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center budget of $3,854,752, which reflects an 11.42% increase compared to this year’s spending plan.

Bridport’s annual meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 3, beginning at 10:30 a.m., at the Bridport Masonic/Community Hall. Australian ballot voting will take place the same day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the same location.

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Addison County Independent