ARLINGTON -- The Arlington select board officially set the town’s municipal tax rate at the meeting on Monday night, and discussed the recent string of vandalism at the Arlington Rec Park, among other topics.
The select board approved a municipal tax rate for 2014 of $.33 per $100 in appraised property value. When combined with the education tax rate, which is set by the local school boards and the state of Vermont, the total homestead tax rate in Arlington is $1.7358 per $100, and the total non-residential rate is $1.7571. The municipal tax rate has increased three cents from 2013, however, the education homestead tax rate has decreased by just over four cents, leaving the net tax rate for residents of Arlington paying about a cent less per $100 in property value than they did last year. For an individual with property in Arlington valued at $200,000, this means a savings of about $20. The board adopted the new rate unanimously.
Board member Cynthia Browning asked chairman Keith Squires for an update on the series of vandalisms at the Arlington Rec Park. According to the police report, on July 21, during the nighttime hours, someone kicked in the door to the office. Squires said that nothing in the office had been stolen or disturbed. The park has seen several other instances of vandalism in the past month, with an unknown person or persons previously kicking in the door of the little league shed, smashing a window in the building that houses the office, and breaking an outdoor faucet, from which a copper piece was stolen.
Aside from the faucet, nothing has been reported stolen or missing after the incidents. Squires said that the police investigation is still ongoing, and the town has already requested increased presence at the park from the sheriff’s department and the state police.
The board also addressed a problem that arose recently regarding an employee whose health insurance did not cover his commercial driver’s license physical. As part of holding a CDL, drivers are required to get CDL physicals every two years, according to Squires, that are more in depth than regular physicals. The town requires that employee, and two others, to hold CDLs, but insurance had always covered the procedure in the past, said Squires. "My thought is, we require it of the employees, if their health carrier won’t cover it, we have to," he said.
Browning noted dryly that the bill should instead be sent to the governor’s office, before the board unanimously agreed to pay the bill. After some discussion, the board agreed to pay these bills as they come in, rather than creating a policy. "We’ve got three employees," said Squires, "If we had 50 employees, that’d be different."
Squires also noted that road work will begin soon on the intersection for Red Mountain Road and Overbrook Lane, where a maple and two pine trees are very close to the roadway. Squires said that he had spoken to the landowner, who only requested that he be allowed to keep the wood. The board reviewed three sealed bids for the project, and voted to approve the lowest, from Steve’s Supreme Tree Service of Bennington, of $850. The other bids came from Trees Inc. of Rutland ($1,100) and Personette’s Tree Service in Arlington ($1,475). "I see no problem with going with the low bid on that one," said Squires, who noted that all three companies had done good work for towns in the area. The town will come in after the trees are removed and fix any damage done to the landowner’s lawn, said Squires.
Derek Carson can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB