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Inter-Lakes School District returns budget surplus

Union Leader Correspondent

August 31. 2012 2:09AM

MEREDITH - School officials say about $515,000 of the $841,000 budget surplus from the Inter-Lakes School District last year will be returned to taxpayers, cutting the school portion of district residents' tax bills substantially.

The school district will set aside $325,975 for capital projects and special education, and the remainder will be returned to taxpayers in Meredith, Center Harbor and Sandwich in the coming year's tax bill, said Trish Temperino, assistant superintendent.

The surplus in the $20.5 million 2011-12 budget is mostly from numerous staff changes and changes in the state retirement system. A total of $676,000 of the surplus is directly tied to changes in staff.

The district did not lay off any teacher or staff this year, but departures of teachers and staff and the hiring of their replacements brought a large savings, Temperino said.

About $200,000 of the surplus comes from changes in the state retirement system rules. Other savings occurred after changes in the workers' compensation system, she said.

Of the money the district is keeping, $37,000 will go to pay for unanticipated special education tuition for two students. The rest will be used for needed repairs and upgrades to the school district buildings, Temperino said, which were built between the 1950s and 1970s.

Among the largest capital projects will be the repair of the Inter-Lakes High School auditorium's leaky roof, which will cost $70,000, Temperino said.

The lockers and floors in the locker rooms have not been improved since the high school was built in 1957, so about $79,000 will be used to buy new lockers and other improvements to the locker rooms.

Many of the district school buildings have aging carpeting, so $53,000 will be used to re-carpet the buildings, she said. An expenditure of $50,000 will be used to upgrade the Inter-Lakes Elementary School cafeteria.

About $25,000 will be spent on needed renovations and replacement equipment in the school's Family Consumer Science rooms. About $7,500 will be used to clean calcium buildups in district buildings' hot water pipes, and $7,500 will go toward teacher development programs, Temperino said.

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