Arlington voters pass $1.2M town budget


ARLINGTON -- The voters of Arlington approved their proposed town budget of $1,258,815 on Tuesday.

Members of the town approved the $1,017,664 to be raised by taxes from the floor at Monday night's informational meeting, but there were a series of appropriations voted on by Australian ballot on Tuesday -- all of which passed -- that increased the figure.

However the town has not set a municipal tax rate as officials are waiting to see what the education rates will be. According to Arlington's town report the tax commissioner has recommended base tax rates of $1.01 and $1.51 for residents and non-residents, but those have not been finalized. Arlington will set its municipal tax rate later this year.

Incumbents Cynthia Browning and Select Board Chairman Keith Squires -- who were both running unopposed -- were reelected. Browning was reelected for a two-year term earning 349 votes and Squires for a three-year term with 316 votes.

Articles 10 and 11 -- which asked voters whether or not $40,000 each should be put aside for the replacement or repairs to the town's fire trucks and highway trucks -- both passed.

The Arlington Rescue Squad's request for $32,500 -- which is to go toward new equipment and training among other items -- was approved by a vote of 357-37.

The town also voted to approve the school district's budget of $6,591,225 by a vote of 284 to 114.

The budget was a $656,405 increase over last year's budget of $5,934,820. Most of the increase this year was attributed to teachers salaries according to Jennings.

In the race for school director, Kevin Smith defeated Glen Gross 209-128 for the two-year-term. K. John Smith -- who was running unopposed -- was reelected for a three-year-term gaining 298 votes and Nichol Whalen was elected for the three-year-seat, which has two-years remaining, with 353 votes.

It was also confirmed at the meeting that board member Maureen Harvey had resigned from the board, but board chair Diane Jennings said Harvey gave no reason for her departure.

At least one resident, Don Keelan, felt that Harvey's resignation was a big loss to the board as he said she had a financial background that was of great benefit.

Another potential change is the move from multi-year seats on the school board to 1-year terms -- an idea of board member Gerald Woodard's. "Through the years I worked with a lot of people who don't want to quit if they can't handle it," Woodard said.

Woodard also said that there were people who were interested in joining the board, but that the time commitment was sometimes too much for them. If the proposal passes, it would not go into effect until 2015.

There are also several improvements that need to be made at Fisher Elementary School and Arlington Memorial High School. Fisher needs a new roof as well as doors and AMHS needs windows -- an item that is expected to cost about $150,000 alone. Together, the improvements this year are expected to cost close to $250,000.


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