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Mascoma Voters Pass Budget; Change Formula for Billing Towns


Staff Report
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

West Canaan — For the first time in three years, Mascoma Valley residents voted to approve the school district's proposed budget.

The $27.2 million spending plan was accepted, 964-257, at the polls on Tuesday. The results mark an end to the Mascoma Valley Regional School District's two-year reliance on default budgets to operate schools.

The 2018-19 budget amounts to a 1.1 percent, or roughly $300,000, decrease from the current year's.

All five Mascoma towns — Enfield, Canaan, Dorchester, Grafton and Orange — voted to approve the budget, according to preliminary results from the school district.

In other voting, Mascoma Valley residents voted, 812-384, to approve a change to how the towns are billed for school services.

The district bill is now divided among Mascoma's communities based exclusively on their yearly enrollment numbers. However, officials worried that the formula can create tax spikes in smaller towns, where only a few additional children can greatly increase costs.

To make yearly changes less dramatic, the district proposed calculating enrollment over a three-year period.

Voters elected incumbent School Board member Timothy Josephson (922 votes) to another three-year term representing Canaan on Tuesday. Bridget Labrie was also elected (938 votes) to a first term representing Enfield.

Both were running unopposed.

Eleanor Davis received 452 votes for a three-year term on the Budget Committee, defeating incumbent Philip Smith, who received 441 votes.