Stowe residents will have to travel to Morristown if they want to ask questions about the roughly $32 million school budget for 2020-21, because the school board won’t be coming to town again before Town Meeting Day.
The Lamoille South school board will host its annual meeting and budget information session on Monday, March 2, at 6 p.m. in the Peoples Academy gymnasium. That’s the day before Town Meeting Day, when voters in Elmore, Morristown and Stowe will cast ballots on the school budget at their respective town’s polling stations.
There’s also a regular board meeting scheduled for Feb. 17, but that’s also in Morristown, at the elementary school.
Those are the venues simply because of the way the school district’s alternating meeting schedule lines up — the last regular school board meeting was in Stowe, so the next one is in Morristown; last year’s annual meeting was in Stowe, so this one isn’t.
Last year was the end of an era for Stowe residents, as they attended the final annual meeting that included a Stowe School District board. That board ceased to exist as of June 30.
At a recent Lamoille South meeting, Stowe member Tiffany Donza worried that it still hasn’t sunk in with some Stowe voters that they no longer have a board to call their own. She predicted some residents will still go to town meeting and expect to see a budget in the neighborhood of $12 million just for Stowe schools, and will instead see one for $32 million for all three towns and the central office.
The Lamoille South central office has been working to get the word out, mailing postcards to residents in all three towns, explaining where and when the annual meeting will occur.
Elmore residents are already used to traveling to Morristown for school board meetings, since those two communities merged into one district three years before Stowe was forced to merge with them.
Polling places in all three towns are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. They are:
• Stowe: Akeley Memorial Building, Main Street.
• Morristown: Town offices, Portland Street.
• Elmore: Town offices, Route 12.
Early voting has started for Town Meeting Day ballot items, which includes the presidential primary election and local elections, in addition to the school budget. Ballots are available at the town clerk’s office in each town.