Thursday February 21, 2013

WILMINGTON -- Residents of Wilmington are going to the polls to vote on 17 articles, which will include an article on the use of funds from 1 percent local option tax at Town Meeting on March 5.

Article 11 asks the voters if they'd like to fund "the Economic and Community Development Reserve Fund with all the proceeds collected from the 1 percent local option tax." The use of these funds has been a hot topic at Selectboard meetings for the past two months leading up to Town Meeting.

The Wilmington Selectboard has been in discussions about what projects would be eligible for "economic and community development." A process for choosing these projects will be decided upon by the board soon.

Residents have been vocal on their desire for the local option tax funds to go towards development for the town, rather than lowering the tax rates.

The Australian Ballot, in which voters approved a budget of $10,092,012 to support "extraordinary special education costs and the operations of the Twin Valley School District" on Jan. 17, has been required to be revoted on.

The budget vote was deemed invalid because the annual reports were not sent to residents within the appropriate time frame for state statutes.

Residents also will decide if they want to "close out the Garage Capital Account and place any remaining balance into the General Fund to reduce the town tax rate in fiscal year 2014," since the Town Garage is finished being built.

Voters are going to see Article 13 at the polls, which allows residents to decide whether or not to create a Pettee Memorial Library Capital Reserve Fund, that would assist the library with "needed capital repairs to the Library Building."

Voters will be asked to generate $20,000, in order "to repay Dover for the cost of their financial aid given during last year's flood and for the cost of the Educational Lobbyist Group."

Article 4 asks voters, "To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $1,774,199 to care for the expenses and liabilities of the General Fund for fiscal year 2014," while Article 5 asks if voters want to raise and appropriate $1,267,616 "to care for the expenses and liabilities of the Town Road Budget for fiscal year 2014."

Residents will decide on whether or not the Fire Department Equipment Reserve Fund will be raising and appropriating $100,000 on Article 6, and Article 7 asks voters if they'd like to raise and appropriate $10,000 for the Memorial Hall Capital Fund.

Article 8 will be asking voters to support the Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) "for economic development activity for Southeastern Vermont." The funds it will be asking voters to decide on will be for $5,628.

All town and school district offices will be voted on at Town Meeting as well.

An information pre-Town Meeting and Meet the Candidates Night will be held at the Wilmington Town Hall Meeting Room on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.