HIGHGATE — A controversial ATV ordinance and a supervisory union budget were at the top of the Highgate selectboard’s meeting Thursday night.
Selectperson Sharon Bousquet started the meeting by announcing that the town of Highgate has pulled an article relating to the Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union’s budget from the Town Meeting Day ballot.
That article, which sought to allow the people of Highgate to vote directly on the supervisory union’s budget, was pulled due to a general uncertainty about its legality, according to Bousquet.
State law specifies that supervisory union budgets are to be included in the budgets of member districts and makes no provision for voters to vote directly on the supervisory union budget itself.
“The town of Highgate has not broken the law,” Bousquet said. “We contacted the state’s attorney and had some confusion about what was legal and what wasn’t. They reached out to [the Agency of Education], and we are hoping to have something in writing to us.”
While the article was pulled from the Town Meeting Day ballot, that doesn’t mean the Highgate selectboard might not revisit the question of the supervisory union’s budget.
“That does not mean this is a closed discussion,” Bousquet added. “But to avoid the liable position, we pulled the article.”
The Highgate selectboard also held a public hearing on an early draft of an ATV ordinance that would effectively ban ATV traffic on public roads.
Members of the selectboard hoped to use the ordinance to address a surge in irresponsible ATV traffic that crowds Highgate roads during warmer months. According to several selectboard members, this traffic represents a safety hazard for the town.
“It’s for the ones who are misusing and putting a danger in our town,” said selectperson Steve LaFar. “Wait until spring. [ATV drivers will] be driving doubles wide, up on wheelies, and crowding people right off the road.”
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