Voters approve SVUED budget

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Voters approved the Southwest Vermont Union Elementary School District's $23.2 million fiscal 2020 budget Tuesday night, in an important step in organizing the new district's functioning.

The vote was 317 in favor and 228 against.

The individual districts reported their results to the clerk of the new union district, Cassandra Barbeau.

Overall, the budget represents a combining of Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury and Woodford school district budgets, with some minor changes.

The budget's $23.3 million in total expenditures includes $8.7 million in salaries, $2.7 million in benefits and $1.2 million in building operations/maintenance.

The Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury and Woodford districts are set to merge by July 1, creating the union elementary school district.

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The budget's impact on the homestead property tax rate is currently projected as a 1.04-cent increase in Bennington, a 1.62-cent decrease in Pownal, a 1.95-cent increase in Shaftsbury, and a 2.21-cent increase in Woodford, Derek Carson, public information coordinator for the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, wrote in a letter to the editor in the Banner June 6.

These numbers refer to tax rate per $100 in appraised property value, Carson said.

Carson confirmed via email Tuesday that those are the most up-to-date numbers.

The budget represents an increase in expenditures of 5.64 percent over the combined fiscal 2019 Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury and Woodford school district budgets.

Polls in all districts were open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m, except Woodford, where voting was scheduled to take place 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Patricia LeBoeuf can be reached at pleboeuf@benningtonbanner.com, at @BAN_pleboeuf on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 118.


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