• Budget talk set inFair Haven
    March 21,2014
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    The Select Board finds itself in the interesting position of trying to figure out what the voters meant when they voted down the town budget on Town Meeting Day.

    That discussion begins in earnest Monday when the board holds a special meeting to tackle a new town budget for voters to consider.

    Voters rejected the $1,908,559 town budget, of which $1,465,812 was to be raised by taxes, by a vote of 267-216.

    That’s a pretty sound defeat, but curious when you see that voters approved a school budget of more than $5.22 million — although by only eight votes.

    They also overwhelmingly — 405-80 — rejected a petitioned recreation director position that would have cost $44,218, yet approved all of the social services requests.

    The town budget, while presenting a significant year-over-year jump in the amount of taxes that had to raised, actually reflected a decrease in spending from the previous year.

    Selectman Bob Richards will now get another crack at the budget. Richards campaigned against the budget as too costly, saying town spending had continued to grow while keeping the tax rate artificially low thanks to a budget surplus.

    When the surplus ran out, the budget that was proposed would have caused the rate to spike this year.

    Apparently, voters didn’t want to see that, but now the board is left with the task of trying to decide what else to cut from a budget they believed had already had the fat cut out of it.

    The Select Board has set a tentative date of June 3 for another vote on the budget. That date is not set in stone, but the board believes that date will work if the process proceeds without problems.

    The meeting is set for 7 p.m. Monday at Town Hall to begin discussions.

    Jimmer fundraiser

    A fundraiser is being planned to help a guy who has suffered from a bout with the H1N1 virus and pneumonia.

    James “Jimmer” Ballard, Jr., a Granville (N.Y.) High School graduate who now lives in New Hampshire was airlifted to a hospital in Maine and then airlifted to Boston where he was kept in an induced coma for more than a month.

    While he was in the coma, he became a father again as his daughter, Kaylynn Marie, was born.

    His cousin Mollie Messer is hosting the fundraiser and said Ballard is still in very rough shape.

    He was originally only given a 40 percent chance of living. Now, they’re saying his survival odds are much better, but he’ll face a long road of difficult recovery.

    In the past week, he has started to be brought out of the coma but is still very seriously ill on a ventilator in the intensive care unit, according to family members. The illnesses have damaged his kidneys and he is on dialysis.

    Bills are mounting and the fundraiser will help with expenses.

    Jimmer’s mom, Marion Ballard, works at Green Mountain College.

    A basket raffle will be held March 30 at Green Mountain College, which has donated space for the event.

    Doors will open at noon with the winners drawn at 2 p.m.

    There will also be food, a 50/50 raffle and other raffles at the event.

    The funds will be used to help the family with medical bills and transportation costs.

    To donate a basket or get more information, call Lisa Thayer at 265-4426 , Mollie Messer at 353-2972 or Virginia Bradley at 287-0019.

    darren.marcy @rutlandherald.com
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