School Board Prepares District’s Warrant for Deliberative Session

The Londonderry School Board recently made their recommendations on this year’s Warrant articles, which will be presented at the Deliberative Session being held on Friday night, Feb. 7, at the Londonderry High School Cafeteria. 

The Warrant contains fourteen articles with a 2020-21 Operating Budget of $78,875,263.

In that session, Warrant articles may be amended subject to the following limitations: (a) warrant articles whose wording is prescribed by law shall not be amended and (b) warrant articles, as amended shall be placed on the official

Ballot for a final vote of the main motion as amended.

Following the Deliberative, voting on warrant articles shall be conducted by official ballot at Londonderry High School Gymnasium on Tuesday, March 10, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The articles and the recommendations are as follows:

Article 1: The Election of Officers, will not be taken up at the Deliberative.

This article is to choose two School Board members, each will have a three-year term.

Article 2: General Fund – Operating Budget. Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District vote to raise and appropriate as an operating budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021, not including appropriations by special warrant articles, or separate warrant articles, one of the following amounts for the purposes set forth in the budget posted with the warrant? Vote for only one:

A. $78,875,263 (School Board Budget as amended, with an estimated Tax Impact of $12.34)

The School Board voted 4-1 to recommend, while the Budget Committee voted 4-3.

OR

B. $78,474,263 (Default Budget, with and estimated Tax Impact $12.25)

NOTE: Warrant Article 2 (Operating Budget) does not include appropriations proposed under any other article in this warrant.

Article 3: Londonderry Custodians [AFSCME Local 1801] Bargaining Agreement. Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District vote to approve the cost items included in the collective bargaining agreement reached between the Londonderry School District and the Londonderry Custodians (AFSCME Council 93/Local 1801), and further to raise and appropriate the sum of $68,864 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, such sum representing the additional cost items attributable to the increase in salaries and benefits over those paid, at current staffing levels, in the prior fiscal year? The agreement calls for the following increases in salaries and benefits at current staffing levels over those paid in the prior fiscal year:

Fiscal Year Estimated Cost (Estimated Tax Impact): FY2020-21 $68,864 ($0.01); 2021-22 $70,585 ($0.01); 22-23 $72,349 ($0.02).

The School Board voted 5-0 to recommend, the Budget Committee voted 7-0.

Article 4: Londonderry Support Staff [AFSCME Local 1801] Bargaining Agreement. Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District vote to approve the cost items included in the collective bargaining agreement reached between the Londonderry School District and the Londonderry Support Staff (AFSCME Council 93/Local 1801), and further to raise and appropriate the sum of $352,339 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, such sum representing the additional cost items attributable to the increase in salaries and benefits over those paid, at current staffing levels, in the prior fiscal year? The agreement calls for the following increases in salaries and benefits at current staffing levels over those paid in the prior fiscal year:

Fiscal Year Estimated Cost (Estimated Tax Impact): FY 2020-21 $352,339 ($0.07); 2021-22 $359,533 ($0.08); 2022-23 $366,906 ($0.08).

The School Board voted 5-0 to recommend, the Budget Committee voted 7-0.

Article 5: Authorization for Special Meeting on Cost Items. Shall the Londonderry School District, if Article 3, or 4 is defeated, authorize the governing body to call one special meeting at its option to address Article 3 or 4 cost items only? (Estimated Tax Impact $0.00).

The School Board voted 5-0 to recommend, the Budget Committee voted 7-0.

Article 6: School Lunch Program and Federal Fund Projects. Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District vote to accept and receive federal grants and other such funds to support the school lunch program and federal projects; further to raise and appropriate such funds in a special revenue fund as follows: school lunch program, $1,672,000; and federal projects, $1,470,000; for an estimated total appropriation of $3,142,000 such funds to be self-supporting through local, state or federal revenue sources? (Estimated Tax Impact $0.00).

The School Board voted 5-0 to recommend, the Budget Committee voted 7-0.

Article 7: Special Article (School Buildings Maintenance Expendable Trust Fund). Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $600,000 to be placed in the School Buildings Maintenance Expendable Trust Fund established at the March 1995 School District Meeting for major one-time capital costs for district facilities including roofs, paving, boilers and small renovation projects? (Estimated Tax Impact $0.13).

The School Board voted 5-0 to recommend, the Budget Committee voted 7-0.

Article 8: Special Article – Equipment Capital Reserve Fund. Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District vote to raise and appropriate up to the sum of $150,000 to be placed in the School District Equipment Capital Reserve Fund established in 2013 to provide funds to procure essential small equipment for classrooms, offices, technology, and buildings and grounds? This sum to come from the June 30, 2020 fund balance available for transfer on July 1, 2020. (Estimated Tax Impact $0.00).

The School Board voted 5-0 to recommend, the Budget Committee voted 7-0.

Article 9: Special Article – District Technology Network Infrastructure Capital Reserve

Fund. Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $125,000 to be placed in the School District Technology Network Infrastructure Fund established in March 2019 School District meeting to provide funds for equipment and services for the school district network infrastructure such as, but not limited to, routers, wiring, switches, access points, wireless network improvements or any other equipment software or service that is necessary for the maintenance, improvement, performance or management of the district’s network? (Estimated Tax Impact $0.03).

The School Board voted 5-0 to recommend, the Budget Committee voted 7-0.

Article 10: Special Article Vehicle and Machinery Capital Reserve Fund. Shall the School District vote under the provisions RSA 35:1 to create a Capital Reserve Fund to be named “Vehicle and Machinery Fund”, for the purpose of funding the acquisition of vehicles and machinery [estimated min value of $5,000], and to raise and appropriate the sum of $125,000 to be placed in this fund; and further name the School Board as agents to expend? (Estimated Tax Impact $0.03).

The School Board voted 5-0 to recommend, the Budget Committee voted 7-0.

Article 11: Amendment to School District Charter. Shall the Londonderry School District vote to amend the Londonderry School District Charter to revise the definitions/ references to operating budget and default budget as follows?

1) In Article IV.A – revise the article as follows: “Operating Budget” means ‘budget’ as defined in RSA 32:3, III exclusive of “special warrant articles” and exclusive of all other appropriations voted separately, all in accordance with RSA 40:13, IX.

2) In Article IV.B, “Default Budget” means the amount calculated by starting with the amount of the appropriations contained in the operating budget authorized for the previous fiscal year, reduced and increased as the case may be by: 1) debt service, 2) contracts previously incurred, 3) salary and other related employee costs [benefits, taxes] previously incurred, and 4) other obligations previously incurred or mandated by law, and reduced by one time expenditures contained in the operating budget. For the purposes of this paragraph, one-time expenditures shall be appropriations not likely to recur in the succeeding budget, as determined by the School Board.

The “Default Budget” is not in fact a budget. It is an “amount” that will be raised if the proposed operating budget is defeated. If the Default Budget is adopted because of the defeat of the Proposed Operating Budget, the amount raised and appropriated may be expended on any purpose contained in the School Board’s Proposed Operating Budget that was defeated. The total amount available for expenditure when operating under the Default Budget will not exceed the default amount plus the amount appropriated by separate and special warrant articles except as otherwise provided by laws such as, but not limited to, RSA 32:9-11, RSA 198:20b, RSA 186-C:13, II, and RSA 186-C:18, X. For the purposes of this Section IV.B, “previously incurred” means on or before the first session of the Annual Meeting at which the default budget is presented to voters.

3) In Article VI.A.1, revise the article as follows: The Proposed Operating Budget warrant article shall set forth the precise dollar ($) amount of the proposed budget of the School District and a Default Budget

as determined by the School Board after following the calculations in Section IV.B above.

4) In Article VI.A.2 revise the last sentence of the paragraph as follows: The default budget may be amended by the School Board acting on relevant new information at any time before ballots are printed. (Estimated Tax Impact $0.00).

The School Board voted 4-1 to recommend.

Article 12: Easement Request. Shall the School District vote to authorize the School Board to convey an easement to Sanborn Crossing Apartments Limited Partnership consisting of a strip of land 20 feet in width which will extend 10 feet on both sides of the center line of water and sewer lines and force mains to be installed beginning at the northeast of the North Elementary School lot and running generally along the northern boundary of the lot to a connection with a the municipal water and sewer lines located on Sanborn Rd, all on terms and conditions approved by the School Board? (Estimated Tax Impact $0.00)

The School Board voted 5-0 to recommend.

Article 13: Non-Lapsing Special Article – Asbestos Removal Project. Shall the voters of the Londonderry School District vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $150,000 to fund the necessary costs to remove all known asbestos District Wide? This will be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7, VI and will not lapse until all known asbestos is removed from all School District buildings, or June 30, 2023, whichever is sooner. (Estimated Tax Impact $0.03).

The School Board voted 5-0 to recommend, the Budget Committee voted 7-0.

Article 14: Create Revolving Non-Lapsing Fund for Self-Supporting Programs. Shall the Londonderry School District vote to create a revolving self-supporting fund to capture the costs self-supporting programs and / or activities not associated with a federal program or mandate? This shall be a non-lapsing fund under RSA 194:3-c. (Estimated Tax Impact $0.00).

The School Board voted 5-0 to recommend, the Budget Committee voted 7-0.

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