School board budget info: Zoom meetings; March 2 vote: Good News on Taxes From the Vernon School Board What’s the bottom line? The Vernon School Budget for fiscal year 2022 is being presented in the amount of $6,315,848 or a 0.6% decrease over our current budget. What does this mean for my taxes? Based on the most recent information from the State, we anticipate that the school property taxes you pay will be lower than last year. We estimate the decrease to be: House Site Value Estimated ​Decrease​ in School Taxes $100,000 -$28 $150,000 -$42 $200,000 -$56 $250,000 -$70 What am I voting on? “Shall the voters of the Vernon Town School District authorize the School Board to expend $6,315,848, which is the amount the Vernon Town School Board has determined to be necessary for the ensuing fiscal year? It is estimated that this proposed budget, if approved, will result in education spending of $17,638 per equalized pupil. This projected spending per equalized pupil is 2.7% higher than spending for the current year.” If our taxes are going down, why does the ballot reference a 2.7% increase? The State of Vermont mandates that ballot questions be written using “spending per equalized student”. Bottom line is that our budget is DOWN and school taxes are estimated to be going DOWN compared to last year. Where can I get more information? The VES Board will be hosting two information sessions via ZOOM. (For both meetings, start at w​ww.Zoom.us​ and click “JOIN A MEETING” in the upper right of the screen.) Monday, February 22nd at 6:30 pm Meeting ID: 818 8618 1528 Passcode: aFqE4d Monday, March 1st at 6:30 pm Meeting ID: 863 5276 0806 Passcode: J0mteF … or contact a School Board member: Kerry Amidon  KAmidon@WSESU.org 254-9745 Walter Breau WBreau@WSESU.org 254-2817 Chad Mulverhill  CMulverhill@WSESU.org 490-2874 Hannah Rosinski HRosinski@WSESU.org 380-1513 Kari Sparks KSparks@WSESU.org 490-6319 Election day is Tuesday, March 2nd. If you have questions on when and where to vote, contact the Town Clerk at 257-0292 or ​clerk@vernonvt.org.​

TEST TW WEATHER

New household hazardous waste depot coming to Windham Solid Waste Management District

Household hazardous waste collection in Vernon, June 2019

By Bob Spencer, Executive Director WSWMD

One of the most expensive waste materials to collect, recycle, and dispose of is household hazardous waste, or HHW. According to Vermont DEC, HHW “includes any household products labelled ‘caution, toxic, danger, hazard, warning, poisonous, reactive, corrosive, or flammable’. Many of these products are very common and can be purchased from local hardware, automotive, and grocery stores to be used in our houses, garages, lawns, and gardens. Because these products are so common and easy to purchase, many people forget that HHW can be extremely harmful to their health or the environment.”

WSWMD and other districts are required by DEC to provide at least four HHW collection events per year to member towns. As shown below, WSWMD’s most recent collection in Vernon, in June 2019, served 36 Vernon households, about 4% of the 856 households in Vernon, a relatively high rate of participation compared to other towns.

Vernon residents regularly participate in District HHW collection events, including those held each fall at the District’s Old Ferry Road location. Here are the total number of Vernon households served for the past 8 years:

2012 –   8 households                                            

2012 –  8 households
2013 – 59 households (one event in Vernon)
2014 – 23 households
2015 – 16 households
2016 –  4 households
2017 –  4 households
2018 –  9 households
2019 – 36 households (one event in Vernon)
2020 –  4 households  

Total Vernon Households: 2012 – 2020 = 163

It is very expensive to hire licensed contractors to operate the collection events. The cost to collect and process HHW from 36 Vernon households in 2019 was $14,654, not including promotion, or District staffing, with an average cost of about $407 per household. If the Town were not a member of WSWMD, the Town would be responsible for providing a minimum of two HHW collections per year, or to operate a permanent HHW collection site.

New HHW Depot- In an effort to reduce the costs of HHW event collections and increase convenience for residents, WSWMD applied for and received a state grant to construct a permanent HHW collection facility at Old Ferry Road, Brattleboro. The facility is a special storage cabinet with three compartments for various types of waste, and has a dry fire suppression system. Once the required permit is received the depot will open in Spring of 2021 for certain hours each week to serve all District residents. Small businesses will also be able to use the site by appointment.

It is anticipated that the depot will reduce the cost of HHW collection since an outside contractor will not have to be hired to operate each event. A contractor will still be used to pickup the HHW at the depot once or twice per year.

Four district staff members now have the required training to manage such a HHW depot, and will sort and package material dropped off by residents for storage in the special container until the waste is collected.

Member towns will be notified by WSWMD once the HHW depot is ready to open, and publicize the days and hours it will be open.

There will be a minimum charge of $10/household to utilize the HHW depot. Fortunately, DEC provides some funding each year to solid waste districts to help off-set the cost of managing HHW, but that too is less than the actual costs.