Londonderry voters go to the polls March 8 to cast their ballots in both the Town and School District Election (see related story pages 1 and 2).
In the School District election, the voters will be asked to approve a proposed $70.7 million budget, which represents a 2.5 percent increase over last year’s budget, an $.80 increase per thousand to the tax rate.
Remaining warrant articles total $900,000, with a total tax rate impact of $.22 per thousand.
The total local education tax rate if the School District’s entire FY17 Warrant passes is $13.82. For a $300,000 home, that means a local education property tax bill of $4,146.
The District’s FY17 Warrant as passed to the ballot by the voters at the District’s Feb. 5 Deliberative Session is as follows:
• Article 1: To choose to serve as School District Officers one School Board member (three-year term), one District Clerk, one District Treasurer and one District Moderator (see story page 1).
• Article 2: To raise and appropriate as an operating budget for the FY2016-2017 school year, not including appropriations by special warrant articles, the School Board’s amended budget of $70,778,003 (estimated tax impact is $13.60) or the Default Budget of $70,932,073 (estimated tax impact is $13.65). The School Board and Budget Committee each recommend Article 2 with a 5-0 vote.
• Article 3: 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 – school lunch program, $1,546,577; and federal projects, $1,389,000; for an estimated total appropriation of $2,935,577. The funds are self-supporting through local, state or federal revenue sources. There is no tax impact. The School Board and Budget Committee each recommend Article 3 with a 5-0-0 vote.
• Article 4 (Special Article): To raise and appropriate $500,000 for the School Buildings Maintenance Expendable Trust Fund, previously established and approved at the March 1995 School District Meeting. The funds would be used for major one-time capital costs for District facilities, including a digital camera upgrade for video security at a cost of $30,000; an emergency generator at a cost of $65,000; field improvements at a cost of $160,000; and LED lighting retrofits at a cost of $40,000. The tax impact is $.14 cents. The School Board and Budget Committee recommend Article 4 with a 5-0 vote.
• Article 5 (Special Article): To raise and appropriate $100,000 for 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. The sum is to come from the June 30, 2016 fund balance available for transfer on July 1, 2016. There is no tax impact. The School Board and Budget Committee each recommend Article 5 with a 5-0 vote.
• Article 6: To raise and appropriate $300,000 to fund the necessary costs to improve the School District’s network infrastructure, including wireless capabilities to address the curriculum and administrative needs of the School District. The appropriation would be non-lapsing until all necessary infrastructure improvements are completed or by June 2020, whichever is sooner. The estimated tax impact is $.08 cents. The School Board and Budget Committee each recommend Article 6 with a 5-0 vote.
• Article 7: To amend the Londonderry School District Charter to remove the quorum requirement for amendments at the School District Meeting by amending relevant sections of the Charter.