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Moretown Select Board approves 2011 budget

Members of the Moretown Select Board voted in favor of a final 2011 budget totaling $1,061,143 at the January 10 meeting. In 2010, voters approved a $967,098 budget.

Rising fuel costs account for an increase in the budgeted amount for heating fuel. In 2010, the town budgeted $900 and spent $1,257; in 2011, there is $1,500 budgeted. In 2010 the town budgeted $6,000 for election officials' pay and spent $562; for 2011 they budgeted $2,500.

In 2010, $5,500 was budgeted for law enforcement/sheriff, $6,023 was spent, and $5,000 is budgeted for 2011.

Last year, voters approved spending $4,500 for law enforcement to supplement the $5,500 already budgeted.

At the January 3 select board meeting, Road Commissioner Rae Washburn suggested decreasing the highway work budget and adding it to the supply budget in 2011. Among the goals of the 2011 highway department projects, according to Road Foreman Stuart Grandfield, is digging up a 1,000-foot portion of the Moretown Mountain Road that is closed every year due to mud.

The current base would be replaced with a new rock base and a new top layer would be added.

In 2010 the town budgeted $432,000 for total highway expenses, spent $435,193, and budgeted $438,490 for 2011.

Town officials opened bids on January 10 for the purchase of a new highway department dump truck and equipment necessary to maintain town roads. Grandfield recommended that the town go with either a Mack or an International truck. Sheldon Trucks submitted a bid for a Mack truck of $109,900; Clark's International submitted a bid of $118,055 for an International.

Grandfield and Washburn will review the bids and specifications from each company and make a formal recommendation to the board at their January 17 meeting. There will be an article asking voters to approve a specific yet-to-be-determined figure.

A line item will be placed in the 2011 budget for one-third of the total purchase price.

Residents will vote on the $1,061,143 budget on Town Meeting Day, Tuesday, March 1.

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