JAMAICA >> Residents supported taking out a bond to replace Town Garage in a 150-109 vote.
"There was a little bit of discussion at the end," Selectboard Chairwoman Lexa Clark said, referring to annual Town Meeting on Tuesday.
The garage came up during a time reserved for other business after all the articles passed. The vote was conducted via Australian ballot. That meant residents could discuss whether to take out a bond not to exceed $750,000 to replace the current facility but they couldn't make amendments to the proposal.
Several questions popped up and had been addressed at an informational meeting held a week earlier. Some citizens wondered whether other options had been explored. But the board felt the bond was the best way moving forward to address safety and storage issues. Also, the cost is only expected to grow if the town waits any longer.
A request for proposals for a garage built in Winhall last year is being looked at as a sample for what Jamaica could put out. The idea involves doubling the space of the current 6,000-square-foot facility in Jamaica.
Eventually, someone stood up at Town Meeting and spoke in support of the project, said Clark.
"(They said) we weren't overextending," Clark said.
The public now has 30 days to conduct a referendum for a re-vote. Needed is support from at least 5 percent of the voters.
The board has not yet decided whether to begin addressing the project before that period of time runs out. Clark expects to decide how to proceed at the board's organizational meeting.
Residents approved a town budget of $1,168,721 to be raised by taxes and revenues.
"Otherwise I'd say it was pretty quiet, uneventful, typical Town Meeting," said Clark.
On the school side, a $1,195,438 budget was approved. A figure of $15,402 will be spent per equalized pupil, meaning a 6.7 percent increase in that measurement. The budget went over the state's spending limit developed as part of the education law Act 46. But officials say the penalty was not large.
Contact Chris Mays at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.