October 31, 2014

Letters to the Editor

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Budget clarifications

I would like to respond to Ginger Isham’s Letter to the Editor printed in the March 28, 2013 edition of the Williston Observer.

She pointed to several large increases in this year’s proposed school budget. Here are some clarifications on those figures.

Professional Development—up 24.61 percent. That was an addition of $9,500 all to be used for anti-bullying and anti-discrimination training for our students.

Supplies—up 23 percent. That came from an increase of $46,246. From that figure, $40,000 was to purchase sixth-eighth grade math materials. All the towns in the Chittenden South Supervisory Union (Charlotte, Hinesburg, Shelburne) are purchasing this series this year. In addition, $3,000 was added to fund higher quality, local foods for our family and consumer science nutrition classes.

Early Learning Partnership—up (14.7 percent). Actually, that was a decrease of $30,845 (the parentheses around the number denotes a negative value).

Equipment—up 40.97 percent. That was an increase of $95,175 for the 1-to-1 iPad initiative.

She also noted large increases in last year’s budget. It is important to realize that most of those increases were offset by decreases. Last year’s total budget increase was 1.95 percent.

I would like to thank everyone who attended the recent School Board public forum. The input we received will help shape the new school budget.

Walter Nardelli
Williston district principal

 

CVU turf fundraising begins

An exciting fundraising campaign has begun, which could soon bring two artificial turf fields, seating for up to 1,000 spectators and field lights to Champlain Valley Union High School. The proposed plan comes after years of poor field conditions have forced many home games and practices to be cancelled or relocated.

Concerns about current field conditions are much more serious than our kids just “getting muddy.” In 2011, the school engaged Gale Associates, a regional consulting and engineering firm, to perform a study of the entire CVU athletic complex. The report concluded that “the demands on the playing fields currently exceed the level at which it is possible to sustain safe, high quality athletic facilities” and that “the level of use will eventually become unsustainable regardless of the maintenance effort expended.”

Due to the soil conditions and the terraced layout, potential improvement of the existing grass fields is limited. Current repair costs are estimated at $1.5 million while providing only a temporary solution. Installation of two turf fields, estimated at $2.6 million including the bleachers and lights, will be a one-time expense with minimal future maintenance costs.

Sensitive to the increasing demands on taxpayers and ever-tightening budgets, a group of parents, alumni, coaches and administration are working in conjunction with the school board to initiate a creative fundraising campaign. Recognizing that turf fields will benefit CVU sports teams as well as various clubs, classes and groups across the entire community, the fundraising committee is eager to share its plans and will be holding a series of informational forums. The first will be Wednesday, April 17, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Monty’s Old Brick Tavern in Williston. Light refreshments will be served. Please come—visit with your neighbors, ask questions and learn more about this exciting project!

Kellie Stoll
Hinesburg

 
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