Springfield votes yes to town budget, no to school budget

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – At Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 5, Springfield voters went to the polls at Riverside Middle School to vote on Articles 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 11 through 28 pertaining to town and school district officers, salaries, and the fiscal year-2020 budgets for both town and the school districts.

In Article 1, electing town and school district officers, Patrick Ankuda, who moderated the informational meeting at Springfield High School Monday evening, was re-elected for both the town moderator and town school district moderator positions. Other results included: George McNaughton as a town selectman, Michael Filipiak as trustee of public funds, Steve Ankuda as town agent, Hugh Putnam as cemetery commissioner, Paul Stagner as first constable, and Dave Coleman as write-in vote for lister. The library trustees voted in were Barbara Bell, Anna Boarini, and Ralph Jacobs while the two school directors voted in were Jeanice Garfield and Michael Griffin Jr.

Springfield voters approved the town budget while defeating the school district budget at Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 5. Stock photo

Springfield voters also approved salaries of $50 for the town moderator and $500 for each selectman. Article 5 addressed the fiscal-2020 proposed town budget of $11,877,207, which would only see a 0.47 percent increase from last year’s budget. The budget passed 814 to 468. In addition to the town budget, Article 7 was approved 1,029 to 250 for an additional $700,000 to be appropriated to repaving and road construction. Article 8 appropriating $50,000 for the Springfield Revitalization Fund was also approved 735 to 537 votes.

The SEVCA property at 15 Pine St. was approved to be tax-exempt for another five years.

While the town voted approval to both the $50 salary to the school district moderator and $500 salary to the School Board members, Article 13 for $30,940,964 proposed school budget was voted down 687 “no” to 588 “yes” votes. Public comments at the informational meeting Monday evening drew concern about the higher per pupil spending of $18,651, which was a 10.7 percent increase as a result of declining enrollment. The overall proposed budget saw an increase of 4.5 percent, which is similar to the state average of a 4 percent increase across other school districts.

According to a report by Vermont Public Radio, of 96 school districts who voted for their 2020 budget proposals on Town Meeting Day, Springfield joins Alburgh and Milton as the only three school districts to vote down their budgets.

The other article items pertaining to funding for different community organizations including Springfield Community Band, SEVCA, Visiting Nurse and Hospice of VT and NH, Senior Solutions, Valley Health Connections, the Current, Green Mountain RSVP, Meals on Wheels, Windsor County Partners – now Windsor County Mentors, Springfield Supported Housing, Springfield Family Center, Women’s Freedom Center, Springfield Art and Historical Society, Turning Point Recovery, and HCRS all were approved for their allocated funding.

The Springfield Board of Selectmen meets the second and fourth Mondays of the month at 7 p.m. in Selectmen’s Hall at 96 Main St. The Springfield Town School District School Board meets the first and third Monday each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Springfield High School Library.

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