Voters OK’d the $16.2 million merged Lamoille South budget 1,114-858.
The budget represents an increase of 3.7 percent over the current fiscal year, an increase driven by average employee wage increases of 4 percent and increases to health insurance premiums of 13 percent.
Although the state will not finalize the education tax rates until this summer, near the start of the next fiscal year, it is estimated property taxes will increase in Morristown, while Elmore voters will see a decrease in their tax bills.
That’s largely attributable to Morristown’s common level of appraisal — the figure that represents the difference between what a town has its properties appraised at and what the state thinks they should be worth.
Morristown’s CLA is 71 percent, and the town is nearing the end of a reappraisal process.
Elmore’s CLA is at 79 percent, which is also below the threshold the state sets before sounding the alarm bells.
The Elmore-Morristown budget includes capital projects totaling $1.8 million. More than half of that is slated for the next fiscal year and includes $750,000 to reconstruct the parking lot circle in front of Peoples Academy.
In a school board race for the lone Morristown seat, which pitted an 18-year-old PA student against an 80-year-old former educator, voters went with the more experienced candidate, although the up-and-comer had a respectable showing.
Richard Shanley, an incumbent with one term under his belt, bested Andi Marie Tisdell, a regular guest at school board meetings for much of her high school career, 1,034-778.
In floor votes during the school district’s annual meeting held the night before Tuesday’s Town Meeting Day, voters approved taking $500,000 from the district’s fund balance and using it as revenue to offset taxes.
According to Lamoille South finance director Andy Lundeen, the merged school district that, until last summer, included Stowe, had a $4 million fund balance. When Stowe withdrew from the district last year, it took about half of that, leaving Elmore and Morristown with $2 million, from which that $500,000 will be drawn.
Also at the school district annual meeting, Elmore’s Jon Gailmor was elected as the district’s moderator, Sandra Lacasse, also of Elmore, was elected as clerk, and Morristown town clerk Sara Haskins was elected as treasurer.
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