By Virginia Dean
Local residents at the March 3 Town Meeting this year will be asked to vote to appropriate a proposed general fund budget of $2,854,000 of which $1,415,066 shall be raised in taxes for the fiscal year 2020-2021.
Select Board Administrative Assistant Bill Sweet said the budget represents a 3.93% increase from last year. The general fund budget is offset by an anticipated $389,140 of revenue plus a 1% local option tax income of $1,050,000, according to Select Board Chair Josh Terenzini.
In addition, voters will be asked to authorize the Select Board to raise by taxes an amount not to exceed $336,064 for use toward the operation of the Police Fund budget; $902,400 for the Highway Fund budget; $217,100 for the Fire Fund budget; and $128,683 for the Recreation Fund budget.
Voters will resolve whether to authorize the Select Board to raise taxes in the sum of $15,000 for scholarships to be awarded to 2020 high school graduates of the town of Rutland who have resided in the town for at least two years and wish to attend institutions of higher learning. Voters will also be asked whether to raise taxes not to exceed $16,216 for the Regional Ambulance Service; and $95,965.95 for the Rutland Free Library Association, Inc.
Positions that are up this year include town moderator, grand juror, two Select Board members, lister, town clerk, town treasurer, road commissioner, cemetery commissioner; and two school board members.
Residents will agree whether the Town of Rutland shall raise taxes in an amount not to exceed $500 toward supporting the work of Neighborworks of Western Vermont; $535 for the Vermont Center for Independent Living; $670 for the Retired Senior Volunteer Service (RSVP); $800 for the ARC; $975 for the Bennington-Rutland Opportunity Council (BROC); $1,500 for the Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging Inc.; $2,500 for the Rutland Economic Development Corporation; $3,000 for the Child First Advocacy Center; $3,500 for the Marble Valley Regional Transit District’s public transit service; $4,054 to the Regional Marketing Initiative; $4,500 for the Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum; $4,502 for Rutland Mental Health; and $6,500 for the Rutland Area Hospice and RAVNAH home and community health services.
Voters may meet at the Rutland Town Elementary School on Post Road on Monday, March 2, 2020 at 7 p.m. to discuss the articles put forth by various town organizations.
Then, at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at the Town Hall in Center Rutland for voters living on the west side of Route 7, and the elementary school on Post Road for voters on the east side of Route 7, residents will be asked to vote by Australian ballot on the articles.
Polls will close at 7 p.m. on March 3.