Town Meeting preview: Bethel town garage funding, townwide reappraisal on the warning

Published: 2/17/2021 9:49:27 PM
Modified: 2/17/2021 9:49:25 PM
BethelTown garage funding, reappraisal on warning

Hot topic: Infrastructure improvement has been a big deal in Bethel, with the downtown getting new water lines last year, a project that caused some disruption to everyday life. In this year’s budget are two projects: A payment toward renovating and expanding the town garage, and the first townwide reappraisal in 12 years.

Budget: The garage expansion adds a $75,000 debt service payment to the budget, but that’s offset by a $35,000 reduction in the amount added to the Capital Improvement Reserve Fund. For the reappraisal, the Selectboard has added another $15,000 to the budget. These expenses would be offset by cuts in other areas, and the total budget increase would be a little over $40,000, according to figures in the town report. The town’s operating budget plus two other spending articles on the warning, for social service agencies and for White River Valley Ambulance, total a bit more than $2.5 million.

Noteworthy articles: The garage project, which town officials have estimated will cost $600,000, might be the most notable piece of business the town will consider this year, but it won’t make it onto the Town Meeting warning in full. “Our hope is to have a vote this summer,” Town Manager Therese Kirby said. Town officials are in the process of drafting a request for proposals from architects and engineers.

Contested races: Selectboard Chairman Chris Jarvis is running again, unopposed, but the seat of departing board member Moe Brigham has drawn two candidates for a three-year term. Both Gene Kraus and Wayne Townsend are members of the Bethel Planning Board.

When and where: An online information session is planned for 6 p.m. Feb. 22, before the Selectboard’s regular meeting. The polls will be open for Australian ballot voting from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, at the Bethel Campus of the White River Unified School District.

— Alex Hanson

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