SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Approximately 15% of registered voters in the town of Springfield participated in the Tuesday, March 7, Australian Ballot election, where seven Town and School District Officers were elected, and 26 Articles were presented, including a $35 million budget request from the school board, which was approved by a slim margin of 610 to 480.
Springfield voters passed all Articles on the Warning. Especially of note, Article 4 appropriates $14,284,999 for town budget expenditures. At the Informational Meeting held on Monday, Mar. 6, Town Manager Jeff Mobus guided attendees through a comprehensive presentation of the town budget, which showed a 6.4% increase in gross costs. Mobus explained that over 90% of those expenses are directly related to payroll increases, with half of those due to police department staffing. The budget allows for the return of two patrol officers, bringing the total number of officers to 13. Other significant increases cover funding for the Police Vehicle Fund, heating and fuel expenses, and winter road maintenance costs.
Voters decided to spend money to improve roads and sidewalks, and approved a large water system improvement project with an estimated budget of up to $3.4 million, potentially to be offset by available state and federal grants. Wayne Elliott from the water engineering firm Aldrich + Elliott was in attendance at the Mar. 6 meeting to present the details of the project to the town.
At least half of the Articles on the Warning prioritized the needs of Springfield’s families, children, seniors, and lower income individuals, by appropriating a total of over $180,000 in funds to local organizations such as SEVCA, Senior Solutions, Meals on Wheels, and Turning Point Recovery Center. The funds will assist with providing food and housing assistance, healthcare, and transportation services across the community.
The Springfield Art and Historical Society and the Springfield Community Band each received funding from voters. As discussed in Monday night’s meeting, preserving, maintaining, and displaying the art and history of the town through improvements to public spaces encourages community gatherings, attracts new businesses, and inspires neighborhood pride.
Tuesday’s election results reflect the social commitment and generous town spirit of Springfield voters. After Boy Scout Troop 252 led Monday night’s informational meeting in the Pledge of Allegiance, Town Moderator Larry Kraft remarked that it brought him back to his Eagle Scout days. Kraft was reelected as Springfield Town Moderator and School District Moderator on Tuesday.