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Shelburne officials pan Mohawk budget

SHELBURNE — Selectmen and Finance Committee members are recommending that annual town meeting reject Mohawk Trail Regional School District’s $17.3 million budget proposal, which includes a last-minute $80,000 increase that was added to the budget to restore French and Peer Leadership classes, after a public outcry over plans to cut them.

Selectman Joseph Judd said, “For me, the concern was how the $80,000 was added to the budget. I thought that 11th-hour decision to do this was not ... a responsible position.”

The money was added back into the school budget on March 13 — a week after a well-attended public hearing on a budget proposal that kept assessments down to a 2.5 percent overall increase.

School assessments for Mohawk’s eight member towns will now go up a collective 3.4 percent.

Under the original budget, Shelburne’s $1,768,385 school assessment represented a $71,467 increase — of about 4.2 percent. The revision pushes Shelburne’s assessment up to $1,782,073 — for a 5 percent increase, of $85,155.

On Monday night, selectmen voted to draft a letter, to be sent to other Mohawk boards of selectmen and to school Superintendent Michael Buoniconti, explaining the reasons for not supporting the budget.

They also hope to explain their position to residents at a candidates’ night/pre-town meeting discussion on April 19. That will be a forum, to discuss both the town election and articles for annual town meeting.

The forum will begin at 7 p.m. at Fellowship Hall, Little Mohawk Road, in Shelburne Center.

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at:
dbronc@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 277

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