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Canaan: $3.1 Million Budget, Other Spending OK’d

— A $3.1 million budget that was $98,000 higher than last year passed easily yesterday, as did all other articles.

The 2013 operating budget passed, 740-306. In all, Canaan voters approved $3.45 million in spending to account for rising insurance costs, state-mandated retirement contributions, cost-of-living raises, the purchase of a dump truck and contributions to social service agencies.

The additional spending will not result in any extra taxes for Canaan property owners, as the additional cost is being covered with savings built up over the past few years.

Forty-seven percent of registered voters in Canaan cast ballots yesterday.

The turnout was largely driven by a proposal to borrow $21.8 million to renovate Mascoma Valley Regional High School.

But longtime resident Ruth Tucker said she felt an obligation to support other spending proposals in town.

“I voted for all the petitioned articles, which were not recommended but they are for the good,” said Tucker, who has been voting in Canaan every year for more than 50 years.

“They help people.”

The petitioned articles all passed. They included the Mascoma Valley Health Initiative, which asked for $2,932; Grafton County Senior Citizens Council ($10,000); Advance Transit ($8,530); Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire ($9,700); West Central Behavioral Health ($2,150); and Women’s Information Service ($2,100).

A proposal to spend $165,000 to buy a new dump truck passed, 812-245.

The money will come out of the Highway Equipment Capital Reserve Fund and will not have any impact on the town tax rate, which is $6.25 per $1,000 of valuation.

Any trade-in value or proceeds from the sale of the old truck will either be applied to offset part of the purchase price of the new truck or be returned to the reserve fund.

Highway construction is also being expanded under the new budget, which sets aside $30,000 more for paving and an extra $22,000 to rebuild dirt roads.

No town races were contested this year. David McAlister ran unopposed for a three-year seat on the Selectboard.

He will replace Marcia Littlefield, who did not seek re-election.

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