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February 13. 2014 9:52PM

$21.8m plan to go to Newfound school district voters

BRISTOL — Newfound Area School District residents will vote next month on a $21.8 million budget proposal, which includes a new three-year teacher contract.

School district officials propose an operating budget of $21,802,569. Voting will take place March 11 at town polls in Alexandria, Bridgewater, Bristol, Danbury, Groton, Hebron and New Hampton.

Article 2, the new teachers contract, would give teachers step raises in each of the three years. It would also give teachers a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment in the first year, a 2 percent COLA in the second year, and a 2.5 percent COLA in the third year, according to the district's business administrator, Mike Limanni.

The contract, a collective bargaining agreement reached between the Newfound Area School Board and the Newfound Area Teachers Association, has no increase in benefits, Limanni said.

The increase in salaries will cost the district $277,225 in 2014-2015, the first year of the contract. It would cost $271,747 in the second year, and $312,479 in the third year.

The school board voted 6-1 in favor of the contract. New Hampton's board member voted against it. The budget committee recommended it unanimously.

The next article on the budget asks for a special meeting if Article 2 is defeated to address the cost items of the article. The school board recommends this article, 6-1, with New Hampton voting against it.

Article 4 asks voters to approve Bristol's Trustees of the Trust Funds as the holder of the school's trust funds to be in compliance with RSA 35:2 Custody of School District reserves. The board recommended this article, 6-1. Danbury's board member voted against it.

Article 5 asks voters to approve up to $60,000 to be added to the Expendable Trust Fund's building maintenance funds. Both the school board and budget committee recommend this article.

Article 6 asks the district for $51,840 for a school resource officer for Newfound Regional High School. The officer would be available to support all schools within the district and would be employed for the school year only.

The school board split on this article by a vote of 3-3-1, with school board members from Bristol, Danbury and New Hampton approving it; Bridgewater, Alexandria and Groton voting against it. Hebron's board member abstained. The budget committee voted for it unanimously.

dseufert@newstote.com


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