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March 06. 2013 11:08PM

Windham to vote on new middle school

WINDHAM - A $31 million bond item for the construction of a new middle school and high school athletic field awaits its fate at the March 12 town meeting.

If School Warrant Article 2 and all the other warrant items pass, the school tax rate would increase to $18.70 per thousand.

School Warrant Articles 3 and 4 represent collective bargaining agreements between the Windham School Board and the district's teachers and support staff.

If passed, School Warrant Article 3 would result in a $107,259 budget increase next year and a $563,473 increase the following year. The passage of School Warrant Article 4 would result in a $64,594 budget increase next year and an $82,904 increase the following year. The anticipated tax impact, which will be combined with the existing bond for new Windham High School, would be approximately $4 per thousand in the coming year, with that cost to gradually decrease in years to follow.

School Warrant Article 6, the $45,579,114 proposed operating budget, represents a slightly less than 1 percent increase over the current default budget due to Windham's upcoming SAU split from Pelham and new positions added to the district's four schools.

On the town warrant, Article 3 asks voters to approve spending $100,958 for the renovation of the historic Searles Building. A separate article, Article 6, asks voters to approve withdrawing $20,000 from the existing Searles Special Revenue Fund to go toward the project.

Article 8 asks voters to approve a $75,000 upgrade to the town's computer systems, while Article 9 asks voters to approve $84,600 toward the purchase of a dozen new mobile radios and seven mobile data computers for the local police force. Partial funding for both items would come from the town's Public Safety Contracted Services Detail Fund, with available funds totaling $23,348.

The passage of Article 20, the town's proposed $12,253,466 operating budget combined with the passage of all town warrant articles, would result in combined tax impact of $324,193, representing a 2.62 percent tax increase.

Voting on all Windham town and school warrant articles will take place Tuesday, March 12, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Windham High School.

For more information on the 2013 warrant items, visit www.windhamnewhampshire.com.

aguilmet@newstote.com


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