Londonderry deliberative session cuts maintenance to boost school security $170K
LONDONDERRY - School security, a decrease in state adequacy aid and an increase in the town’s share of employee retirement costs were the topics of much discussion during Monday night’s school deliberative session.
Fewer than 100 of the town’s 16,000 or so registered voters attended the meeting, which had initially been set for last weekend but was postponed on account of the blizzard.
The majority of the dozen warrant articles were moved to the ballot unchanged, with a handful of notable exceptions.
Those attending the session overwhelmingly agreed to move a $170,000 school safety item to next month’s ballot, with amendments to several articles reflecting fiscal cuts in other areas, Superintendent Nate Greenberg said.
Article 10, the building safety article, had initially been set at $1 but at the recommendation of school officials and voters, was increased to $170,000.
At the urging of the School Board, Article 7, a special article asking voters to establish a $200,000 capital reserve fund for such on-going needs as classroom furniture, technology, building maintenance equipment and tools, will be reduced to $100,000 on the March ballot.
Article 9, a special article asking voters to establish a $50,000 benefits trust fund for the purpose of maintaining health insurance funds for employees and district retirees, was reduced to zero.
If Article 10 passes next month, the district’s plan is to install card-access systems in all of the town’s schools, with the project to be completed this summer.
District business administrator Peter Curro said the district currently has around $43,000 in unused funds that can be used to purchase some of the equipment, such as cell and landline phone enhancements and the installation of panic buttons.
Next year’s proposed $66,052,167 operating budget, which comes in about $1 million lower than the default budget, was moved to the ballot with little discussion on the matter.
If passed, the district budget’s estimated tax impact would be $12.75 per thousand.
Another article, asking voters to approve a $4,500,000 bond for renovation and construction to all of the district’s buildings, was also moved forward unchanged. If passed the item’s tax impact would be two cents per thousand.
A petitioned special article asking voter to let the school district use $8,500 to establish a varsity ski team at Londonderry High School also was moved forward.
Voting on all warrant articles will take place Tuesday, March 12 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the high school gymnasium.
For a complete list of this year’s school warrant articles, visit www.londonderry.org.