Windham Meetinghouse Committee is requesting Questions and Comments Please send email to — meetinghouse@townofwindhamvt.com

Windham’s Treasure

By Louise and Tom Johnson

The Windham Meeting House – a beautiful, historic building dating from 1802 – is jointly owned by the Town of Windham and the UCC Church. For various reasons, the Church members have decided that they can no longer support their share of ownership.  They have agreed to turn over their portion to the Town for a nominal amount. A Transition Committee of volunteers has been formed by the Select Board to determine the feasibility of sole ownership and the legal aspects of transfer. According to the Town attorney, there are no legal obstacles to the Town acquiring the part of the building that it doesn’t already own. The consensus of the Committee is that the Town should proceed with acquisition. The Meeting House is a center for many Town activities and a part of the heritage of the Town that should remain in public ownership.

Once full ownership is acquired, the Town would be responsible for the full cost of upkeep and operation. How will this affect taxpayers? Using round numbers, the annual operating expenses are about $16,000, of which the Town already pays about $10,000. If the remaining $6,000 were to come from taxes, this would result in an increase of $0.05 per thousand dollars valuation. For example, a property valued at $200,000 would see a tax increase of $10. Maintenance of the structure of the building would continue to be supported by The Friends of the Meeting House, which is reorganizing to raise funds for that purpose. (See related article elsewhere.)

After acquisition, a committee would be formed to handle ongoing operations and to promote the use of the building to generate income. Ideas for a fee structure and possible uses are being discussed. There appear to be many possible uses and it seems likely that enough revenue could be generated to completely offset the additional $6,000 expense to the Town.

Comments, ideas and suggestions are welcome. Please respond in writing at the Town Office or on the Town web site, www.townofwindhamvt.com.

Results of Windham Merge with WRMUED

There were 674 voters who participated in this election (56 in Brookline, 108 in Jamaica, 181 in Newfane, 170 in Townshend, and 159 in Windham).

The results are:

Article 1–(Shall Windham merge with the WRMUED) 166 YES, 508 NO

Article 2–(Budget only if Article 1 passes)  208 YES, 451 NO, 15 SPOILED

The Fourth Corner Foundation’s first gallery opening and reception for 2019

Date:  June 15, 2019    at  5:00pm

Location:  578 Hitchcock Hill Road Windham, VT  05359

phone:  802-875-2194

Description: Gallery opening featuring the work of Rick Veitch cartoonist and graphic novelist as well as selected work by the students of the Art Department of Castleton University.

Opening/reception with refreshments.

Mark H Van Note for The Fourth Corner Foundation

School budget vote notice

WINDHAM IS STILL PART OF THE UNIFIED DISTRICT FOR LELAND & GRAY (even though we voted at Town Meeting to withdraw, that will not be in effect for the upcoming school year)

About the School Budget—It’s time to talk! Come to the informational meeting about the new vote for the school budget for Grades 7 to 12 being held at Leland and Gray at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 25th. The West River board members will answer every question you wish to ask! And, what is that “equalized pupil” figure all about? They can explain that formula so it makes more sense. Here is some good news! The unified school budget for all the grades, Pre-K to 12, actually does reflect savings (about $700,000) compared to what the individual school budgets for these five schools would have totaled before unification. Your vote on the Re-Warned  School Budget impacts all the schools in our district.

About the School Budget—It’s time to VOTE!  Early and absentee ballots for the new vote for the school budget for Grades 7 to 12 are available at your Town Clerk’s office. Voting continues all day on Tuesday, April 30th, from 10 AM until 7 PM at the Windham Town Office. Your vote on the Re-Warned School Budget impacts all the schools in our district. What is the vote about? It’s the second part of the school budget that voters did not approve last month. This vote is for the upper grades. Here’s what you will see on the ballot:  Shall the voters of West River Modified Education District approve the school board to expend $6,402,943 for grades 7 – 12, which is the amount the 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 $22,369 per equalized pupil.

Absentee voting available in Windham Town Office:

April 27, Saturday 8 AM – NOON

April 29,  Monday 12 PM – 8 PM

Election Day voting available in Windham Town Office:

April 30, Tuesday, 10 AM – 7 PM