January 22. 2013 10:10PM

Goffstown school board sets warrant articles

Union Leader Correspondent

GOFFSTOWN - The school board Monday finalized articles that will appear on the school district warrant in March, including its operating budget and plans for $14.5 million in elementary school improvements.

If voters approve the school district's operating budget and the bond request for the elementary school renovations, they can expect a property tax increase of about $1.23 per thousand dollars of assessed property value, or about $270 on a $220,000 home.

The tax impact each year of the remainder of the bond is expected to be 71 cents, in addition to any future increases in operating budgets.

Article 2 seeks voter approval for the $14.5 million bond that will add classroom space to Bartlett and Maple Avenue Elementary Schools, which was recommended by the Budget Committee by a vote of 11-3.

Article 3 on the school warrant is the district's operating budget of $37,311,381, which was a revised budget of the Budget Committee, and adopted by the board.

The default budget was set at $36,616,091, about $600,000 less than the proposed operating budget.

According to SAU 19 Business Administrator Ray Labore, the tax impact on the default budget is about 73 cents per thousand, or about $160 on a $220,000 home.

Article 4 asks voters to decide if the school board should elect to retain up to 2.5 percent of unassigned general funds to use as a revenue source for emergencies.

"I think it's a great idea, I'd love to see it pass, but I'm not sure this is the right way to do it," said board member Keith Allard.

Board member Suzanne Tremblay disagreed, saying the article should move forward.

"Our warrant is probably as simple as it's going to get," she said.

The final article, Article 5, will ask voters to approve a new AREA agreement among Goffstown, Dunbarton and New Boston, which will take effect when the current agreement expires in 2014.

The school deliberative session takes place Feb. 2 at Goffstown High School.