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Budget Committee concurs with town, school boards on proposed operating budget numbers

January 17, 2019
The Budget Committee largely agreed with the presented budgets by the board of selectmen and the school district and the proposed amounts will be on the ballot going forward to the deliberative session and voting.

A public hearing took place on Thursday night at the Gilford High School auditorium on the budgets for the town, school district, and Gunstock Acres Village Water District.

Budget Committee Chair Sean Murphy said they first started meeting with the town and school boards in November and then broke up onto different subcommittees to review the various departments.

These budgets were brought back to the Budget Committee to discuss what was appropriate for each of them.

The town departments had requested a budget of $14,315,751, the board of selectmen recommended a budget of $13,657,901 and the Budget Committee agreed on this number. This year's budget reflects an increase of $545,794 from last year.

If the town's budget article doesn't pass, the default budget will be $12,903,658, a decrease of $208,449 from 2018.

The warrant includes an article for $400,000 to complete the improvements to the Recycling Center and construction of a transfer station, an article that was unanimously recommended by the selectmen but not recommended by the Budget Committee in a vote of eight against and four in favor. Other articles include $125,000 for upgrades to the police department's radio system, $85,000 for a forestry firefighting vehicle, $80,250 for floor improvements to the fire station,

The school district's proposed budget for 2019 is $26,231,636, an increase of $164,633 from last year. The Budget Committee approved the same amount that was proposed by the school board.

If this article fails the default budget will be $25,517,333

The district's total estimated revenue is $6,700,308. The district is expected to receive $449,484 from state aid with the amount to be raised by taxes of $15,939,480, an estimated impact of 42 cents per $1,000 in assessed valuation.

The school district warrant includes articles for $210,000 to repair and resurface the Gilford High School athletic track, $89,199 for a world language program at Gilford Elementary and Middle Schools, and articles placing money into different capital reserve funds.

The Gunstock Acres Village Water District has a proposed operating budget of $275,238 as well as a special warrant article of $150,000, totaling their proposed appropriations to $380,238. Of this amount, $94,505 will be raised by taxation.

Garnet Hill
Martin Lord Osman
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