By Michelle Fields, Standard Correspondent
About 150 voters approved both the Woodstock Elementary School and town budgets as well as a more controversial article for $60,000 to purchase and install a digital projection system in the Town Hall Theatre.
The approved WES budget of $2,324,802 was actually $61,802 less than originally warned as a Title Two grant for that amount was not included as revenue.
“We have tried to hold spending relatively steady,” outgoing board member Christine Corey told the voters.
The approved budget represents a 4.2-cent increase over the previous year’s tax rate or an increase of $84 on a $200,000 property.
The town budget of $4,133,755 ($2,959,625 of which is to be raised by taxes) was also approved by voters with a few questions such as a $10,000 allocation to the Thompson Senior Center when they also have a special article requesting an additional $30,000. This budget represents an increase of $26.20 on the property noted above.
The biggest discussion and even a call for a paper ballot vote came around discussion of Article 12 to purchase a digital projection system for the Town Hall Theatre. Proponents claimed that it was necessary in order to keep showing movies since they are no longer being created in non-digital formats. Opponents questioned why the town should purchase and own a projection system that would be used
by a private nonprofit (Pentangle Council on the Arts). In the end, the ayes had it in a vote of 123-31.
This article will add about $14 to that $200,000 property tax bill.
The remaining special articles, which will also impact the tax rate, will be voted on by Australian ballot on Tuesday, March 5.
Read more about Woodstock Town Meeting in the March 7 edition of the Vermont Standard.