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Town Meeting preview: Thetford’s proposed budget rises $600,000 over last year’s

Published: 2/16/2021 11:09:37 PM
Modified: 2/16/2021 11:15:29 PM

Hot topic: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thetford is using Australian ballot voting for articles that would ordinarily be discussed during an in-person Town Meeting.

Budget: Voters are being asked to approve a general fund budget for the town of $1.6 million, with $1.2 million to be raised by taxes. That is up approximately $600,000 from last year’s general fund budget of $1.06 million, an increase of 5.9%. Additionally, voters are being asked to approve $1.4 million, with $1.27 million to be raised by taxes, for the public works department, which includes highway funding. This is an increase of almost 1.3% over last year’s $1.1 million.

On the school side, voters are being asked to approve a $9 million budget, which represents a 1.1% increase over the current budget of $8.9 million. The school tax rate would go up an estimated 4.4 cents per $100 of valuation, to $1.98.

Noteworthy articles: Article 8 asks voters to give the Selectboard permission to enter into tax stabilization contracts with owners, lessees, bailees, or operators of agricultural or forest property, open space land, and alternative-energy generating plants. Article 9 would extend that to owners, lessees, bailees, or operators of commercial or industrial property. Both reference a state law that allows the Selectboard to do so.

Contested races: Selectboard member Sharon Harkay is facing a challenge from Orin Pacht for a two-year term on the Selectboard. Megan Snider is running unopposed for a three-year term as a school director and Donna Pluta is running unopposed for a two-year term.

When and where: Voting by Australian ballot will take place at Town Hall from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 2. Absentee ballots have also been mailed to all registered voters, who are encouraged to drop them in the drop box at Town Hall. They can also be mailed back to the town but must be received prior to March 2. An informational hearing and candidates forum will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 on Zoom. From 9-11 a.m. Feb. 27, an informational hearing about the town articles will take place via Zoom.

— Liz Sauchelli




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