$24.6M budget passes; TIF agreement approved; Private road plowing amendment falls to defeat.


Byline: Steven H. Foskett Jr.

SUTTON - Voters wrapped up the annual town meeting last night by passing the fiscal 2008 budget and approving a tax increment financing deal with a local business.

Voters approved the recommended $24.6 million fiscal 2008 budget. By approving the budget, voters essentially cemented the passage last month of a $975,000 Proposition 2-1/2 override, which allowed the town to buy the Shaw Farm, fund a capital budget and provide an additional $500,000 to be split between municipal and school budgets.

The $24.6 million budget included a school budget of around $12.8 million.

Resident Patricia Bassette attempted to amend the budget to include $35,000 from the stabilization fund to pay for the plowing of private roads.

Ms. Bassette, of 23-1/2 Tucker Lane, put a question on the annual town election warrant last month that empowered the town to fund the plowing of private roads in town.

The town had traditionally plowed a portion of private roads in town, but in recent years has abandoned the practice, citing budget considerations.

Ms. Bassette said that the plan passed at a town meeting and a ballot election, and said the town should follow through and fund it.

"This is democracy, isn't it?" Ms. Bassette asked.

The question passed last month, but Ms. Bassett's amendment failed last night. Town officials said there were too many questions surrounding the plan, including exactly what roads would be plowed and what liability issues might come up.

Other officials questioned the wisdom of taking money from the stabilization fund to pay for a recurring expense.

A large chunk of the nearly 400 voters left the high school gymnasium after the...

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