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Town Meeting
VPR News is aggregating Town Meeting reports on social media: follow the timeline on Storify. Rundown of full coverage here.Share your updates and photos from your Town Meeting with the #TMDVT hashtag.News tips? Email Follow #VPRNews and our reporters on Twitter.

Vernon Debates Late Into Night, Postpones Town Budget Discussion

Turnout was heavy at Vernon’s annual meeting Monday night. Voters debated school expenditures until so late in the evening that  discussion of the town budget was postponed. The meeting will continue Tuesday evening.

Vernon select board chairwoman Patty O’Donnell said the strong attendance reflects concerns about losing Vermont Yankee, the town’s biggest employer and taxpayer.

O’Donnell said the proposed town budget is down almost $400,000 from last year’s without cutting programs like the town recreation department or police.

“We’ve reorganized, we restructured, we found new revenue sources for these programs, We looked at ways of bringing revenue in instead of having to cut. Because at the end of the day if we lose everything we have in this town, there really is no value to living in Vernon," O'Donnell said.

Vernon resident Ellen Merkel said people are worried.

“When Vermont Yankee was paying $1.3 million into our town budget we had low taxes, we were getting everything we wanted, everybody was fat and happy. Now all of a sudden it’s all going to be gone. And of course some people want to keep things some people want to cut more things.  When it comes to money, everybody’s there," Merkel said.

Vernon’s School Budget will be decided Tuesday by Australian Ballot. The town budget will see a floor vote Tuesday evening. 

Susan Keese was VPR's southern Vermont reporter, based at the VPR studio in Manchester at Burr & Burton Academy. After many years as a print journalist and magazine writer, Susan started producing stories for VPR in 2002. From 2007-2009, she worked as a producer, helping to launch the noontime show Vermont Edition. Susan has won numerous journalism awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for her reporting on VPR. She wrote a column for the Sunday Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus. Her work has appeared in Vermont Life, the Boston Globe Magazine, The New York Times and other publications, as well as on NPR.
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