Wind: 6 mph
There seems to be some confusion as to what the petition calling for the reconsideration of Waitsfield's town office bond vote means.
The petition means that voters will vote again on the exact same article they voted for on July 30 when voters approved borrowing up to $650,000 to build new town offices at the north end of the village on a parcel of land known as the Farm Stand. The vote was 300-209 in favor of the bond.
The town received a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant to use toward the project – the total cost of which is estimated to be $1.2 million – leaving voters to finance about $450,000.
If the reconsideration vote affirms the July 30 yes vote, the town will proceed and will be able to use the grant. If the reconsideration vote overturns the July 30 vote, the town will have to return the grant to the state.
The town can reapply for the grant if/when it has a new project, but that pot of funds is finite and the state is readily dispending those funds to towns throughout the state.
If it's a no vote next time around, the town starts from scratch in terms of town offices. The petition does not mean that voters will now be presented with another vote on building town offices at another location such as the former Methodist Church in the village, open land in Irasville or open space in other commercial locations in the town.
If the reconsideration vote affirms the July 30 vote, that new vote cannot be petitioned for reconsideration because state statute prohibits voting more than twice in one year for the same article.
State statute requires at least two-thirds of the original prevailing vote (300 to 209) to overturn the first vote when a reconsideration vote takes place. It would require at least 204 no votes to overturn the July 30 vote.
The petition does not mean that the need to move Waitsfield's town offices out of the basement of the library goes away. It simply means that voters will again be asked to vote on the exact same article they approved on July 30.