Waitsfield voters to cast ballots on capital budget, board members, reserve fund

At Town Meeting next week Waitsfield voters will be asked to approve $10,000 for the purchase of an automatic start switch for a generator that was approved for purchase and installation at the Waitsfield Elementary School six years ago. The generator serves the school and Wait House and currently must be manually started by school, town or road crew personnel.

Voters will also elect two members of the select board and two members of the school board. Waitsfield Select Board chair Kate Williams is running unchallenged for re-election to a two-year term. Vice chair Charlie Hosford is being challenged in his run for re-election to a three-year term by Elwin Neill Jr. who is running as a write-in candidate.

The contested race for the Waitsfield School Board is between Helen Kellogg and Scott Kingsbury who are both seeking a two-year term on the board. Todd White is running for a three-year seat.

The bottom line for the town budget is $1,096,861 with total expenses (including special articles, capital and one-time expenses) of $1,577,204. Net proposed expenses for 2010 are $1,167,599.

The bottom line for the Waitsfield Elementary School 2010-2011 budget is $2,115,826, down from the 2009-2010 budget of $2,163,294. The decrease of $47,468 represents a reduction of 2.2 percent.

The town budget includes a request for funds to repair the General Wait House, permission to stop mailing town reports to all registered voters and $50,000 for a budget stabilization reserve fund which would help keep the town budget from extreme fluctuations from year to year. That fund would not exceed 5 percent of the current year's budget.

Voters will also be asked to appropriate $113,500 for the town's reserve funds in the following amounts including $10,000 for maintenance of the covered bridge, $55,000 for a road department truck, $15,000 for road department heavy equipment, $15,000 for a fire truck reserve and $6,000 for repairing the roof of the fire station as well as other allocations.

Waitsfield voters will gather at the Waitsfield Elementary School for Town Meeting at 10 a.m. Polls will be open for Australian ballot voting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Waitsfield voters will have lunch at the Waitsfield United Church shortly after noon.