ARLINGTON — Over 100 residents in the town of Arlington came together on Monday night for its annual town meeting to hear the boards lay out the town and school budget in the Arlington Memorial High School Gymnasium.
Town Moderator John Whalen introduced Arlington School Board Chair Dawn Hoyt who is proposing a budget of $7,282,274.00, which is an increase of 1.13 percent from last year's $7,200,175.00 budget for the Arlington School District.
Hoyt presented a list of goals and stated that there hasn't been a decrease in enrollment and that there are 436 students in the district and stand one out of four schools in the state that haven't decreased in enrollment.
Despite this increase, Hoyt explained that money will be saved due to several changes within the district that consist of a dental premium decrease that saved $2,000, implementation of solar panels that will save $3,000 in energy costs and $30,000 saved by restructuring teaching assignments and reducing health and physical education classes, however, Principle Timothy Stewart clarified that nothing about the classes have altered.
Other changes include a three percent increase in teacher and administration salary reflecting a two year increase as well as health benefits increasing 7.9 percent. There is also a new Curriculum Director whose salary is funded by a grant as well as $5,979 from the district. Additionally, some folks took advantage of an early retirement, saving the district $15,000 and due to staff changes and further restructuring of the principal, science, athletic director, art and technical education teacher, $53,179 was saved.
For the town section of the night, Representative Steve Berry opened with highlights from Montpelier by reassuring what he can do for the community.
"If there's anything you want to talk about, please come to me," Berry said. "I am happy to represent you."
On the ballot, voters will see a proposal of $45,000 to refurbish the town's fire trucks and $40,000 to repair or replace the town highway trucks and $14,000 for further vehicle and equipment aid. There are also 14 selectboard positions up for election. Twenty-one thousand dollars is up for a vote to fix and maintain town roads and sidewalks.
The total, $1,073,374.00, is the proposed amount to be raised by taxes for 2016 while the regular proposed budget amounts to $1,323,981.00
The water department was mentioned in the annual report, however it will not be voted on this year.
Polls will follow the Australian Ballot at the Arlington Memorial High School Gymnasium from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 1.
—Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.