Town Meeting Preview: Barre CityFebruary 19,2013
Proposed $10,479,521 – $544,901, or 5.48 percent, more than this year’s budget of $9,934,620.
Budget would require raising $7,095,534 in local property taxes, an increase of $512,330, or 7.78 percent, over the $6,583,204 voters agreed to raise when they finally approved the budget for the current fiscal year. The spending proposal reflects an increase of more than $100,000 in health insurance expenses, nearly $90,000 to pay for an 8.4 percent increase in the city’s premium to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns’ Property and Casualty Intermunicipal Fund, and roughly $183,000 to cover the cost of hiring two additional police officers.
Proposed $13,114,947 – $1,136,438, or 9.48 percent, more than this year’s budget of $11,978,509.
Budget includes $12,389,947 for the operation of Barre City Elementary and Middle School, an increase of $1,336,438, or roughly 12.1 percent, over the $11,053,509 figure that was approved by voters a year ago. It also anticipates $725,000 – $200,000 less than this year – in expenditures that would be covered by grants that would not affect the tax rate. The budget reflects a projected increase of nearly $1 million and contemplates spending an extra $325,000 on regular education. Included in that cost is funding for a new assistant principal’s position.
Union high school budget
Proposed $12,303,664 – $191,918, or 1.58 percent, more than this year’s budget of $12,111,746.
Budget includes $11,863,664 for the operation of Spaulding High School, up $570,233, or 5 percent, and $440,000 in grants that won’t affect taxes. That’s a reduction of $249,000, or 36 percent, from the $689,000 that was budgeted for grants this year.
The Spaulding budget is approved by voters in both Barre and neighboring Barre Town.
Shall the voters of the city of Barre vote by Australian ballot to approve $810,800 for the street reconstruction and sidewalk improvement program and the capital fund? Last year voters separately approved $751,900 for a street reconstruction and sidewalk improvement program and $100,000 for the capital improvement fund. The combined article reflects a reduction of $41,100, or 4.8 percent.
Shall the voters of the city of Barre vote by Australian ballot to appropriate $61,000 to the school district’s portion of a police officer who is assigned to Barre City Elementary and Middle School?
Shall the voters of the city of Barre vote by Australian ballot to appropriate $30,000 to the long-term maintenance fund for Barre City Elementary and Middle School?
The only contested election in Barre this year involves Spaulding School Director Giuliano Cecchinelli and resident Romni Palmer. Both are running for the two-year seat on the high school board that is currently held by Joe Blakely. Blakely is not running and no one is running for Cechinelli’s three-year board seat. Veronica Foiadelli McCormick is the only candidate for her one-year seat on the Spaulding board.
Four members of the City Council – Paul Poirier, Michael Smith, Lucas Herring and Charlie Dindo – and three members of the city’s school board – Anita Ristau, Leslie Walz and John Steinman – are all running unopposed. School Commissioner Rachel Piper is not running for re-election, and, barring a successful write-in campaign, her replacement will be appointed by the school board.
Barre does not hold a traditional town meeting. Election of town and school officials and approval of the municipal, school and union high school budgets, as well as all other money matters and proposals, will be by Australian ballot. Polls will be open at the Barre Municipal Auditorium from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 5.
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