ARLINGTON >> The Arlington School Board has officially warned its budget for Town Meeting Day, which represents a decrease from this year.
Battenkill Valley Supervisory Union Superintendent Judy Pullinen presented the warning to the board for approval at the regularly scheduled meeting last week. The budget for the 2016-2017 school year, should it be approved by the voters on March 1, is $7,260,147, down 0.67 percent from this year. That equates to $15,352 per equalized pupil, and Pullinen estimated that it would reduce local taxes by about 5 cents per $100 in appraised property value.
The budget as constucted avoided any tax penalties from the 2015 education bill, Act 46, which set growth limits on spending per equalized pupil. Any growth in spending over the thresholds would have been double taxed under the initial law, which was tweaked earlier this month to lower the penalty from 100 percent to 40 percent this year. Pullinen had initially been concerned that the increased cost of salaries and healthcare benefits for staff would make it very difficult to get under those limits.
"I think that the budget is good," said board member K. John Smith, "It's good to be down."
Three school board seats will also be contested in the election. Kevin Smith, Nicol Whalen, and Gerald Woodard's seats are all up for re-election. While Whalen and Woodard are gathered signatures to run for their seats, Smith has said that he would not be running, leaving his one-year seat up for grabs.
The board voted unanimously to approve the warnings for Town Meeting on February 29, which will take place at the Arlington Memorial Middle and High School Gymnasium at 7 p.m., and Australian balloting, which will take place the following day, also in the gymnasium.
The full recording of the video is available on Greater Northshire Access Television and on the website, gnat-tv.org.