CHESTEFIELD, N.H. - Budget Committee Chairman Bayard Tracy told roughly 30 residents at the Chesterfield School's gymnasium Saturday that revenue is the driving force in the proposed 2014-15 school board budget.
Revenue is expected to jump $628,662 (or 8.05 percent) in the proposed budget of $8,436,317. Local property tax, according to estimated revenues, are expected to bring in $885,937 (or 17.43 percent) more than last year, for a total of $5,969,597. The proposed budget also designates $77,615 for "New Hampshire catastrophic aid," a hike of $31,396.
State property tax will generate an estimated $1,200,340 in revenue, for a 2.94 percent increase from last year.
Budget committee members said several of the proposed budget's 20 expenditure accounts show increases of barely more than $3,000. Spending for regular instruction is expected to go up 3.64 percent, to a proposed $3,801,935, while the proposed budget for special instruction is $2,051,347, a 31.02 percent increase from last year.
A proposed $130,000 is reserved for a special projects line item under the school maintenance expenditure account. Chesterfield School Board Chairwoman Ege Cordell explained to the Reformer this is due to a conversion to propane.
"We have two boiler plants that both run off of heating oil (at either end of the building)," she said. "Both have upgraded in the last 10 years to new boiler system, but with the changes in state regulations for oil we now have a necessity to upgrade the piping at a cost of roughly $60,000 (each) and within the next handful of years having to replace another additional oil tank."
Cordell said the amount budgeted for would include conversion to propane, removal of the existing tanks and repiping.
After Cordell and Tim Ruehr, business administrator out of the School Administrative Unit 29 Office, finished explaining the conversion, resident Rich Randall said he works for Markem-Imaje in Keene and the corporation saw a two-year payback after making its switch.
Toward the end of the public hearing, resident and school moderator Gary Winn, who was in the audience, stood up to explain Article 5 of the school district warrant. The vote on the school articles is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 8. The town and school district currently hold their public votes on separate days, but adoption of Article 5 would result in holding them on the same day, though still on two different ballots. Proponents of the article say it would save time, money and materials and encourage more people to take part in the democratic process.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow Domenic on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.