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Town, school, Gunstock Acres budget hearings on Thursday

January 09, 2019
The Budget Committee will hold public hearings on the town, school district, and Gunstock Acres Water District Budget's this Thursday, Jan. 10.

The hearing will take place on in the Gilford High School Auditorium at 7 p.m. The Budget Committee will present their recommended appropriations for the school and town as well as petition warrant articles.

The hearings come after a few months of public meetings between the Budget Committee and with town and school where the Budget Committee reviewed the budges proposed by the selectmen and the school board.

The Gilford School District presented its proposed budget during a public meeting in October. The budget review process started in September with Superintendent Kirk Beitler meeting with administrators, who then met with the staff. Beitler put together the superintendent's budget of $27,038,654 and presented it to the school board during the Oct. 2 meeting. The board reviewed it and came up with its own recommended budget of $27,041,309, an increase of $809,573 or a little over three percent from the current budget.

The budget proposes a number of staffing changes accounting for a total reduction of $218,827, mostly due to positions being redefined, the highest of which is the assistant principal to Gilford Elementary School and Gilford Middle School. Beitler said while that position has been split evenly between both schools, starting in the new school year, two-thirds of the assistant principal's time will be in the middle school while a third will be in the elementary school. To make up for the difference a guidance position will be added at GES, putting two guidance counselors at the school to work with students.

The board of selectmen reviewed some budget changes and the draft 2019 warrant during the Nov. 14 meeting. Selectman Richard Grenier said the Budget Committee adjusted the selectmen's recommended budget by changing some small details.

The dues to the New Hampshire Municipal Administration were reduced by $800 to reflect the actual amount that will be due in 2019. Adjustments were made based on prior year expenditures including a $7,600 reduction in Animal Control, $8,000 in Public Works vehicle parts, and $10,000 in station coupons, and more. These changes account for a reduction of $26,400 from what the selectmen voted on.

The selectmen unanimously voted in favor of revising the budget figure on the warrant with these additions by the Budget Committee. This will bring the overall proposed budget to $14,219,008, minus special warrant articles voters would be deciding on a budget article of $13,739,027.

AJ Coleman
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Varney Smith
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