Plymouth Town Budget Passes; School Budget Voted Down

From The Plymouth Press

Plymouth voters passed the budget with little fanfare at Town Meeting on March 3. Nearly 100 people attended the meeting. The proceedings went smoothly and included both a budget presentation and update on town goals by select board member Russ Tonkin.  There was one moment of dissent when the moderator called to move things along and to hold applause. As the annual opportunity to meet face-to-face, many thought that fellow attendees should be allowed to express themselves. The moderator was successful in keeping the meeting on task, and everyone had the chance to applaud on several occasions during Article 4. “Other business.”

Items mentioned under “Other business” included an update on the library bridge which washed out during Tropical Storm Irene. Funds from FEMA were assigned to an alternate project, replacement of a dangerous bridge on Hale Hollow Road, but excess funds remain. They will be used towards a footbridge across the brook by the library, which should be completed by late fall 2014. Additionally Eric Johnsen asked for volunteers to take over the organization of Green Up Day in Plymouth as he will be moving out of the area.

The school budget was more controversial. As a tuition town, Plymouth has no voice in setting the budgets of the schools that town children attend. In addition, there were more children enrolled than was budgeted. The school board is petitioning the state to amend the student count, however it wasn’t clear at the meeting whether that could be accomplished. It would have an impact on the budget, so town residents voted the budget down to give the school board an opportunity to see the process through and come back with a budget that better reflected the changing number of students in Plymouth.

Plymouth’s state representative Alison Clarkson gave an update on activities in Montpelier. As a member of the Ways and Means committee, she is helping to determine the tax rates that Vermonters will pay in the coming months among other business. She invited Plymouth residents who have had issues with Vermont Health Connect to get in touch with her directly at aclarkson@leg.state.vt.us.

Don’t forget to vote! Voting by Australian ballot is today, Tues, 3/4, with polls open from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

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