Spotlight on the issues

Special bonds highlight votes at Town Meeting


As Town Meeting Day nears and voters bone up on who they’ll choose for various board positions and community offices — from town moderators to fence viewers — they also have to focus on special articles and bond votes. Within the six towns that make up the Otter Valley Union Unified School District, along with the Proctor High School and West Rutland High School, voters have half a dozen school budgets, special construction bonds, and specific races for which they’ll need to make informed decisions.

Of those issues, the $2.93 million school safety and improvements bond at OVUUSD is the most prominent in size and scope. The initial bond of $5.9 million was narrowly defeated during the General Election vote this past November, 1913-1827. The revised bond vote was cut almost in half after public feedback decried the inclusion of a new gymnasium at the Neshobe Elementary School in Brandon and extra balcony space at Lothrop Elementary School in Pittsford.

After two months of discussion the school took the feedback to heart and reduced the proposed bond to include what many school board members considered the bare necessities.

Voters will also decide the fate of the $19,935,847 annual budget, which represents a relatively modest increase of 3.7 percent over the prior year’s budget.

At the board meeting last week the board discussed final preparations for the annual meeting this Wednesday, Feb. 27.

“We will give our presentation of the budget and the bond,” Bourne said. “The goal is to give as much time for people to ask questions on the two issues (the bond and the budget) as possible.”

The annual meeting takes place at 6:30 p.m. in the OVUHS auditorium.

“One of the hallmarks of the annual meetings of this district,” Bourne said, “is that the residents ask polite, probing questions about topics when they disagree.”

Voters will also decide on a three-year school board race between former educator Derek Larsen and Mike Lufkin. (See story online at

Pittsford Sewer Bond

Pittsford voters will also face a $970,000 bond proposal to replace to wastewater treatment facilities that are in need of repair. Voters will also decide on a budget for the general fund, highway fund, and village fund that collectively totals $3,841,234, a 4.5 percent increase.

Quarry Valley school district

At the Quarry Valley Unified Union School District (which represents Proctor, West Rutland and Poultney), voters will decide a $17,617,200 budget that represents a 6.28 percent increase. Much of the increase in expenses on the proposed budget is due to rising costs of health care. Nearly a third of the $1,041,719 increase is for Health Reimbursement Arrangements for the district employees, which helps employees of the district pay for the high deductibles of their medical insurance plans.

Brandon Selectboard and budget

In Brandon, voters will decide one of the few contested selectboard races in the area. Timothy Giles and Dennis Reisenweaver compete for a three-year seat on that board. Guiles, a progressive, recently ran for the Rutland-6 House seat in the November election. Reisenweaver, a retired Lieutenant Colonel with a background in the nuclear field, has experience on other boards in his career.

Brandon voters will vote on a budget that represents a 0.92 percent increase over last year’s budget, for a total of $3,190,885.

Proctor budget

Voters in Proctor will decide on a general fund budget of $848,583, an increase of 1.5 percent; a highway department budget of $499,533, an increase of 9.2 percent over last year, and $67,000 for the Proctor Free Library.

For budget votes and other races and issues in the towns of Leicester, Sudbury, Brandon, Goshen, Pittsford, Proctor and West Rutland, see our reports online at

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