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"It is almost the exact same rate," she said.

"Nobody from Grand Isle attended, and we did not get a letter, Converse Yellow Shoes

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whether they will approve the town's share of the county tax. The total amounts to $97,200.

Secretary of State Jim Condos maintains that even if voters reject paying the county tax, the town of Grand Isle still must fork over its annual assessment.

He said he was uninterested in answering questions from the Free Press and said the newspaper could have attended any board meeting for information. The money goes to support county services, including the courthouses and sheriffs' departments.

In a subsequent phone interview, he questioned how the town could expect to receive fire protection and rescue services for seven months and not be expected to pay.

The Selectboard is asking voters in one ballot item for conditional approval to spend $59,630 to receive protection for the town from the Grand Isle Volunteer Fire Department, and in a second item to spend $15,000 for service from the Grand Isle Rescue Squad Inc.

"We have never had anybody say they are not going to pay it as far as I know," Britton said.

The current budget of $396,484 is proposed to rise to $417,761, Batchelder said.

Both allocations would hinge on private entities' providing the Selectboard with a copy of all expenditures and finances by Feb. 1, 2015.

Two county officials Assistant Judge Joanne Batchelder and Clerk Sherry Britton both said they were unaware of any objection to the tax from Grand Isle town officials. Batchelder said the county conducted budget meetings in December and January.

nor did they contact us," Batchelder said. She said in 20 years as an assistant judge, she has never heard of a town not paying its obligation.

´╗┐Grand Isle voters to consider tax payments

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"It is baffling from the standpoint that if voters defeat it, the town is still obligated to pay its portion of the county tax. They still Converse Maroon High Top

Condos said he wonders if the public safety units failed to comply, does the town believe it would not have to pay for services rendered.

He also questioned what the Grand Isle Selectboard has in mind for fire and rescue services if those special ballot items are defeated Tuesday, or if the town would be left without coverage.

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Selectboard Chairman Ron Bushway and member Ed Gelinas, who both are seeking re election, did not attend or call in to a live candidates forum on Lake Champlain Access TV on Thursday night.

Bushway did not did not respond to multiple phone messages left by the Burlington Free Press this week.

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In an unusual move, the Grand Isle Selectboard agreed to ask voters in a special ballot item at Town Meeting Day on Tuesday Converse Sale Uk Junior

GRAND ISLE The Selectboard in the town of Grand Isle is proposing a novel idea at town meeting this year: making the county tax payments optional this year.

The decision to exclude the county tax from the annual town budget also gives an impression that the Selectboard is proposing a decrease in spending this year.

Condos said he considers it "bizarre" that a private entity disclose its finances to get paid.

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Gelinas on Friday initially said he had to work Thursday night. Later in the interview he said the written invitation stated the candidates forum was March 27. By the end of the interview, Gelinas said he didn't attend because the forum was co sponsored by The Islander, a weekly newspaper.

But the idea is failing to pass muster with state and county officials, who say it is not an optional expense.

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Other questionsCondos, the state's chief election officer, said two other special ballot items in Grand Isle town also had him scratching his head.

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The Grand Isle County budget and tax rate are increasing "very little," she said.

Former Grand Isle Sheriff John Lawrence is challenging Bushway for a three year term. Adam White, who Converse Chucks Low works at a Burlington law firm, is challenging Gelinas for a two seat seat.

The county tax rate is increasing from 2.56 cents on the dollar last year to a proposed rate of 2.7 cents this year, she said.

The proposed town budget is $577,184, down $15,805 from last year's approved municipal budget but last year's budget included the county tax. By adding this year's county tax assessment, projected spending in Grand Isle town would be up $81,395.

have to pay," Condos said.

"I'm not sure how this can logically happen. I believe this could be confusing to the voters and ballot questions are not supposed to be confusing," Condos wrote in an email.

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