Mont Vernon voters to weigh proposed budget

MONT VERNON – Voters at the Feb. 8 School Deliberative Session quickly put all articles on the warrant for the March 14 election, including a $4.6 million operating budget.

The default budget is about $27,000 more than the operating budget, which means the budget would have a 76 cent tax impact, while the default budget would have an 87 cent tax impact.

The reduction of one teaching position is reflected in the budget, and there are cuts in some line items – for legal fees, facilities repairs and computer equipment – with an overall increase of $25,000.

Mont Vernon and other school districts saw increases in salaries and benefits, bus transportation, the state retirement fund and health insurance, with Mont Vernon’s nondiscretionary spending up by $103,500.

School officials said they tried to keep the budget flat this year, and it’s slightly more – .55 percent more – than the current budget. Both the School Board and the Budget Committee

recommend it.

An article to add $50,000 to a maintenance trust fund to replace the school roof, a $300,000 expense, has a 20 cent tax impact. A few people at the meeting said this isn’t the year to put that money aside, but an amendment to zero out the article failed.

An article to establish a fund to pay for unanticipated tuition to Amherst Middle School and put $50,000 into it, and another article to add $50,000 to a fund for students with disabilities, both passed.

The fund for students with disabilities was the only article the Budget Committee had voted against. Peter King, a committee member, said the 20 cent tax impact was too great and that the district has a history of budget surpluses.

All business was completed in one hour.

Town elections will be held from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, and Town Meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, both at Mont Vernon Village School.