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Barre City, Grand Isle voters head to polls - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Barre City, Grand Isle voters head to polls

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BARRE, Vt. - Two more communities are holding school budget votes Tuesday.

Voters in Barre have twice rejected a spending plan for both the city and its elementary and middle school. With state lawmakers reducing the local school tax rate from earlier projections, the school board decided essentially to re-vote the same $12.6 million budget that failed last month.

Despite a steady stream of voters Tuesday, local officials say they remain discouraged by low turnout in recent votes.

"We've got almost 5,000 names on the voter checklist and so you'd like to think we'd get 20 to 25 percent at least and we're not seeing those kind of numbers. Even in March for Town Meeting Day we were under 1,000 people. In May for the first budget revote were under 800 and today I'm hoping we go over 800,” said Carol Dawes, Barre City clerk.

The polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Barre. 

Grand Isle voters are also headed to the polls.

On Tuesday, the Grand Isle community voted for their school budget a third time. The budget was originally defeated by voters. The school board adjusted it and it passed the second time. 

According to the Superintendent, the $5 million budget meant staff cuts but kept class sizes the same, but opponents filed a petition asking to rescind the budget vote and it's back before voters Tuesday.  

"It's a complicated vote because those who vote yes are voting to eliminate the budget that's been approved. Those who vote no are voting to support the budget that's been approved by the voters," said Bob Phillips, Grand Isle Schools Superintendent. 

If the town votes to revoke the school budget, the school board will present another proposal for voters. 

Meanwhile in St. Johnsbury voters are gearing up for a fourth try Wednesday at their school budget School leaders there say they've already trimmed more than $300,000 from the budget since Town Meeting Day.


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