Town Meeting preview: Hartford’s crowded Selectboard race, small budget increases atop ballot

Published: 2/20/2021 9:50:29 PM
Modified: 2/20/2021 9:51:57 PM

Hot topic: Hartford voters will decide contested elections for five of the town’s seven Selectboard seats on Town Meeting Day. Current members Emma Behrens and Simon Dennis, whose terms both expire this year, are not running.

Budget: The town is asking residents to approve a $17.4 million operating budget this year, around $14.4 million of which will be covered by tax revenue. The municipal budget would have a projected tax rate increase of just under 2 cents per $100 of valuation, or an additional $49 for the owner of a $250,000 home, according to a budget presentation in December.

On the school side, the $41 million proposed budget represents a $344,000 increase from the current school year. If approved, the homestead tax rate would increase by 2.9 cents per $100 of valuation, to $1.72. That translates to a $73 increase on a $250,000 home for homeowners not eligible for Vermont’s income sensitivity program.

Noteworthy articles: Voters will be asked to approve spending over $111,000 from local option tax revenue to help with ownership and maintenance of four cemeteries in town. One of the employees who oversees the cemeteries is retiring, and state law requires the town take over upkeep of the cemeteries if there is no one else to do it.

Contested races: In addition to the contested races for five Selectboard seats, residents will be asked to choose between two candidates for the position of West Hartford Library Trustee: Emily Clough and Gayle Ottmann. Havah Armstrong Walther and Russell North are running unopposed for seats on the School Board.

When and where: Town Meeting will be held by Australian ballot from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, at the Hartford High School Gymnasium. There will be an online budget discussion and candidate night on Monday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

— Anna Merriman

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