Town Budget and Key Articles to be Decided on Voting Day March 5th

Town Meeting
Don't miss the annual Town Meeting and Voting Day!

  • TOWN MEETING: March 4, 2024 at 7pm
  • TOWN VOTING DAY: March 5, 2024 from 7 am to 7 pm
Town meeting and voting day is a time honored tradition in Vermont. Here in Bennington, this will be our 262nd town meeting… with our first one being in 1762! There are two parts to Town Meeting; first is the meeting itself which is the night before and then the voting on elections, budgets and articles, which happens on the following day. This year Town Meeting will be at 7 pm on Monday, March 4. The meeting will be held at the multi-purpose room in the Fire Facility located on the third floor. The next day, March 5, is voting day. That is also at the Firehouse main level and it will be open from 7 am to 7 pm. If you are a resident of North Bennington, your voting location is the Village Trustees office located at the North Bennington Train Depot and it will be open from 7 am to 7 pm.

What’s happening with the budget this year? The total overall amount of the town budget for 2024 is 5.69% higher than it was in 2023. The biggest cost factors driving the increase continue to be overall inflation, health care costs, and the costs we are charged for materials and supplies. The projected tax rate increase would be 5.53% based on our current Grand List but may be lower depending on the completion date of construction projects currently underway. We ask you to support the hard work the Town is doing and vote YES on Article one.

It is important to note that the budget includes a number of agencies including the Bennington Free Library, John McCullough Library, North Bennington Recreation, Lake Paran, and the Bennington Rescue Squad. Those costs total $832,950.00 and are included as line items in the budget. You can view the entire budget details on the Town website at: Additional Agency budget requests (Articles 3-13) are voted on individually. The total amount requested by each agency is the same as last year, totaling $124,850.00.

Why is the sale of the Senior Center Building being voted on at Town Meeting? Once the Benn High redevelopment is fully completed, and the senior center has moved to its new, larger space at the Benn High, the former building location at 124 Pleasant Street will be vacant and no longer be needed. Whenever a sale of Town owned property is contemplated, a warning notice must be given to the public. A petition to have the matter be voted on was successful in the fall of 2023. The vote will be held as part of Town Meeting in 2024. The value of the building ($400,000) is part of the town’s contribution towards the re-development of the Benn High. 

How much will the Benn High re-development cost taxpayers? Zero municipal tax dollars are being used to fund the re-development of the Benn High. A months long public process on how to spend Federal ARPA funds, resulted in the Benn High project being selected as a preferred project for those federal dollars. Total ARPA funds allocated are $2,000,000 for construction and $500,000 for pre-development costs. The project puts a blighted vacant building back into productive use, while providing needed housing (44 units), a gymnasium, exercise rooms, an expanded Senior Center, and an expanded Meals on Wheels.

The project fits perfectly with numerous grants and federal tax credits. As a result, this public/private partnership with Hale Resources, LLC, adds up to over $42 million dollars that will be used to redevelop the building. Our leveraging of those ARPA funds and the transfer of the value of the Senior Center (once it is no longer needed) results more than a 10-fold return on our total investment of $2.9 million ($2.5 million ARPA plus $400K value of 124 Pleasant Street property = $2.9 million). 

We encourage voters to vote YES to Article 2 supporting this Benn High redevelopment effort. This will not only return the old senior center to the tax rolls once it is vacant, it will also mean a huge increase in the tax rolls for the Benn High which currently is assessed at only $148,000.00. After the renovation, the property will be valued at around $8,000,000.00.

Full details on the Benn High project, including full details on costs, floor plans, future maintenance costs, and much more are on the Town website at

Early voting ballots are available now from the Town Clerk. We DO NOT automatically mail ballots; they MUST be requested from our Town Clerk. You can email or call 802-442-1043 to have one mailed to you, or stop by the Town Offices located at 205 South Street in Bennington. Once completed, you may mail it to us at PO Box 469, Bennington, VT 05201.You may also use our official ballot drop box located in front of the Town Office to return your ballot. The ballot box is open until close of business on March 4. The ballot box is under 24 hour video surveillance and is checked daily. NOTE: The ballot drop box is NOT AVAILABLE on March 5; ballots must be brought to the polling place.

We encourage everyone to vote!