Moretown passed a budget of $1,646,965 for next year at Town Meeting Day on March 5. 


Voters passed 20 additional articles, including spending of up to $10,000 plus interest to purchase gear for the volunteer fire department, $10,000 for the repair and upkeep of town bridges and culverts, and $10,000 toward the town’s Survey Fund.  

The articles also included spending of up to $95,000 plus interest to replace the west side sidewalk in Moretown Village – passed by 57% of voters who showed up on Tuesday.

Moretown, which elected a town moderator and other town officials by floor vote on Tuesday, held the rest of its election via Australian ballot, a method that seems to yield more participation from young people than a traditional floor vote, according to resident Deb Sargent, and her husband, Bob, who used to be a middle school teacher. 

“I want to hear the opinions of young people, and I’d like to have young people politically active,” Bob Sargent said. 

In advance of Town Meeting, the town held an informational meeting on Monday, March 4. It was an opportunity for residents to ask questions about the budget and other articles before voting on Tuesday. 

Regarding $10,000 toward the town’s Survey Fund, select board chair Tom Martin said that the town needs to hire a surveyor to map out town-owned roads and trails. Martin said that last year the town put $5,000 aside to contract this work, then learned it would be closer to $40,000, deciding to reserve funds in the coming years.   



Select board members gave a synopsis of increases to the budget – up 13% or $192,000 from last year’s budget. 

Costs related to town highway work are up about 9%, including $10,790 to repave the Village Hill, and $10,000 towards a scoping study for the sidewalk project in Moretown Village. Costs for highway supplies are up $17,000 -- including for culvert work and supplies like gravel, sand and salt.

General town expenses are up 9% as well, including a $22,800 increase for storm water maintenance. Spending for the planning commission is up about $15,000 – most of which will be used to hire a consultant to update the Town Plan. 

Select board costs are up about 63%, including an increase of $37,000 for consulting with FEMA for flood damage – most of which will be reimbursed next year. Town clerk Cherilyn Brown said that FEMA will reimburse the town fully for all major flood damage and at least 75% for remaining costs. 

Town salaries and wages are up just 5%, with an increase in pay for the town clerk, town treasurer and highway crew. The budget shows an additional $,7621 or 40% increase in pay for the town’s zoning administrator, but Martin said that’s due to an increase in hours, as the town needs to process a lot of applications related to housing, cell towers and other projects in a short timeframe. 

Budget increases aside, Brown said the town got reimbursed $12,000 by BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont because employees met certain health requirements.   

A few questions were raised by community members, including a concern about whether the town provides oversight on donations to the town’s volunteer fire department. Brown said the fire department and library are their own entities and do not need to report assets to the town. 




For local elections, Tom Martin and Don Wexler were re-elected to one-year terms on the select board. A select board seat with a three-year term was not filled. Cherilyn Brown was re-elected to a one-year term at trustee of public money and Craig Eilers was elected to a one-year term as delinquent tax collector. 

Tom Chanette was elected to a one-year term as first constable, Clarence Wood to a one-year term for second constable, John Fulton to a three-year term as Cemetery Commissioner, Bridget Harty to a three-year term and Sybil Schlesinger to a one-year term as library trustee, and Steven Rosenberg was elected as the director of the Harwood Unified Union School District board.

State Representative Kari Dolan concluded Monday’s information session by outlining some of the states’ priorities – including work to increase workforce shortages by funding apprenticeships and internships, and forgiving loans for some professions, like nursing. 

Dolan said that increasing the availability of affordable workforce housing is also a priority, as the state put $211 million toward housing initiatives last year. “We still have a long way to go,” she added. 

Finally, Dolan spoke about a concern on everyone’s mind lately – how state education funding is “in a bit of a crisis,” causing considerable increases to homestead tax rates. She said that next year, the state is “committed to a real overhaul” of the funding formula, which hasn’t been updated in 30 years. Most other states, she said, revisit and update their formulas every six to 10 years.