Town Meeting preview: White River Unified School District looks to pay down deficit

Published: 2/10/2021 9:43:29 PM
Modified: 2/11/2021 10:07:23 AM

Hot topic: Leaders of the two-town White River Unified School District, comprising schools in Bethel and Royalton, are still working to pay down a deficit from previous years. There is currently $360,000 remaining to pay off, according to White River Valley Supervisory Union Superintendent Jamie Kinnarney. School officials hope to end this school year with enough surplus to bring the deficit down to $200,000, he said. The district continues to work to curb expenses including nonessential spending and has left unfilled one music position that became vacant at the end of last school year.

Budget: Voters will be asked to approve a budget of $12.03 million, which is down $72,000 or 0.6% from the budget voters approved last year. As a result, taxpayers in Bethel are expected to see tax rate rise by 5 cents to $1.62 per $100 of value, an increase of $125 on a $250,000 home. In Royalton, voters are expected to see an increase of 9 cents per $100 for an increase of $225 on a $250,000 home.

Noteworthy articles: Voters also will be asked to set salaries for the year at $600 for School Board members and at $1,050 for the school district treasurer.

Contested races: No one has filed to run for two three-year School Board seats now occupied by Rodney Rainville of Bethel and Robert “Bob” Gray of Royalton.

When and where: Two online informational hearings are planned on Feb. 16 at 5 p.m. and March 7 at 6 p.m. Voting by Australian ballot will open March 2 at 8 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Bethel polls will be at the Bethel Elementary School gymnasium at 273 Pleasant St. and Royalton polls will be in the small gym at the Royalton campus of White River Valley School at 223 S. Windsor St. in South Royalton.

— Nora Doyle-Burr

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