Sunderland to vote on Safe Roads funding, pupil spending at Town Meeting

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SUNDERLAND — Residents will be asked at Town Meeting next month to approve a $326,475 general fund budget and funds to improve safety on a dangerous section of a main road.

The Sunderland Safe Roads Committee proposes that the town provide a 20 percent match to a grant from the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) to construct a four-foot-wide paved shoulder on an uphill section of Sunderland Hill Road. The half-mile length — between the town garage and property No. 2539 — has been declared unsafe for bikers and walkers while cars are passing.

It is unsure whether a grant will be available, however, the project totals at $151,000. If approved at Town Meeting on March 6, the Safe Roads Committee could apply in April and hear back from VTrans by the fall.

According to the meeting warning, the Highway Fund Budget would be increased — no more than $31,000 — to support the project.

Regarding education finances, voters will be asked to approve Burr and Burton Academy's tuition rate of $16,700. It pertains to Sunderland students in grades 9 through 12 who attend Long Trail School and BBA, according to the town warning.

A school board budget of $2,724,513 for fiscal 2018 will be voted on. This equates to $10,076 per equalized pupil, if approved — 26.9 percent lower than the current year.

Residents will be asked to approve a $352,500 highway fund budget. That includes the paving reserve fund, road projects reserve fund, the state/town bridge co-op reserve fund and the guardrail reserve fund.

Another article on the ballot includes expending $7,500 for the Martha Canfield Memorial Free Library.

Two Select Board members are seeking reelection: Steven Bendix for a one-year term and Richard Timmerman for a three-year term.

For the School Board, Heidi French seeks reelection to a two-year term, Melanie Virgilio to a three-year term and Kristen Kimball to the remainder of a three-year term.

Town Meeting starts at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 6 at the Sunderland Elementary School at 98 Bear Ridge Road. Residents will vote in local election on Tuesday, March 7 at the Sunderland Town Office at 104 Mountain View Road between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

For more information, visit www.sunderlandvt.org.

Reach staff writer Makayla-Courtney McGeeney at 802-490-6471 or @MC_McGeeney.


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