That’s right, two dates for us here in Charlotte to remember for Town Meeting and voting. On Tuesday, March 6, Town Meeting will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room at Charlotte Central School, starting at 9:00 a.m. The Selectboard will be taking us through the Town Warning articles starting with Article 3, which is to approve the town’s $3,145,165 budget. During the discussion of Article 3, people will be able to make amendments to that budget if they like—adding to it, taking away from it, or any combination of the two. If there are amendments made to the budget, we will have a floor vote on those changes.
At the end of the discussion of that article will be the final budget number will go to the voters on April 3 to vote on by Australian ballot. The town budget is not finalized on March 6; it is discussed and may be amended, but the binding vote on the budget happens on April 3 by Australian ballot.
Article 4 and Article 5 are asking for $50,000 for the purchase of generators and $30,000 for capital improvements for recreation. Just like the budget, these two articles are discussed, dollar amounts may be amended or not, and then voted on from the floor. Whatever the outcome of the floor vote is will be the dollar amount voted on by Australian ballot on April 3. The dollar amounts for Article 4 and Article 5 are in addition to the $3,145,165 town budget.
Article 6 is a floor vote to purchase airpacks and bottles in the amount of $220,000, using funds in the Fire & Rescue Reserve Fund, which the town holds. This vote will be final with the floor vote. There is no Australian ballot on April 3 for this article. The funds exist in the Fire & Rescue Capital Fund, and the $220,000 is not in addition to the $3,145,165 budget. We are required to vote on the spending of those funds because the expenditure is more than $50,000.
The Fire & Rescue Capital Fund is on page 23 in your Town Report, and it outlines past, current and future purchases for CVFRS, both equipment and apparatus, along with the cost of the bond payments for the apparatus purchases. The Fire & Rescue Capital fund is supported almost entirely by tax dollars, which pay the bonds, purchase the equipment and apparatus.
Aside from all of that, there will still be three Australian ballots on March 6:
- our town and school officers’ ballot,
- Town Plan ballot and
- Champlain Valley School District budget ballot.
On April 3, there will be one ballot to vote on the Town budget and on Articles 4 and 5. The dollar amounts for those articles will be what was approved by floor vote on March 6.
Absentee ballots are available now for March 6. You may request absentee ballots for the April 3 meeting anytime, but those ballots will not be available until March 12. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the Town Clerk’s Office at (802) 425-3071 or send an email.