Wardsboro approves budget of more than $900K

WARDSBORO — Town voters approved a budget of nearly $1 million on Tuesday, at $922,757.

Of the 65 voters in attendance, 59 approved the budget as written.

Much of the morning's discussion, however, related to highway maintenance. Residents asked about the plowing of unpaved roads and learned from the Select Board that it is not always advisable to plow when the surfaces underneath the snow are not frozen and muddy.

The topic of drivers operating their vehicles at excessive speed on some of the town's roads was also discussed. Those in attendance learned that speed limit signs are being posted on Stratton Arlington Road, South Wardsboro Road, and on Main Street in response.

There was a brief discussion about the methods of voting that citizens can use at future school meetings under the new River Valleys Unified School District. Voters learned the pros and cons of using Australian ballots versus voting from the floor, which is Wardsboro's current method of electing school directors. There also was some discussion about whether or not more citizens would attend town meeting and participate in town government if the annual meeting was either in the evening, instead of 9 a.m., or on a Saturday, instead of the traditional first Tuesday in March. All those present felt that more participation from townspeople of all ages would make a difference in town affairs.

Janice Hull, a member of Wardsboro's three-person Board of Listers, announced the board would be conducting a full town assessment, starting with a questionnaire and followed by house-by-house inspections. Hull told the attendees that sales are good in Wardsboro and prices are not going down.

Voters re-elected Jamie Knapp and Mitch Plimpton to one-year terms on the Select Board and Kathleen Anderson to a three-year term. Bob Stupp was appointed to a five-year term as a Library Trustee and voters applauded Nancy Perkins for her many years as a member of the trustees.

During the annual school meeting the night before Town Meeting, voters elected Barry Pearson to a three-year term as a school director. Additionally, the terms of Dwight Boerem, finishing two years of a three-year term, and Mike Murphy and James Thomas, one year, were renewed. The school directors said they worked hard to keep the school budget level or less than prior year figures. Fewer than 35 voters passed a school budget in the amount of $1,955,233 for the education of an estimated school population of 115 students, pre-K through 12th grade. Jackie Bedard was re-elected as town clerk, treasurer, trustee of public funds, and collector of delinquent taxes. Joe Novick was re-elected as first constable; there is no second constable position. Janice Hull was re-elected as lister. Cherie Moran was re-elected as town grand juror and town agent. Jane Robinson (not present) was re-elected as cemetery commissioner. Nancy Dawson was re-elected as auditor


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