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March 06. 2014 8:31PM

Several union deals on Windham ballots

WINDHAM — Voters at the March 11 polls will have their say on a variety of town and school warrant articles next week, including several collective bargaining agreements and a $250,000 multi-use recreation field.

Among the items on the school side is Article 2, a two-year agreement with the teachers union. The contract would cost $488,269 next year and $505,237 the following year.

Tax impact would be 24 cents per thousand dollars of assessed property value or $84 for the owner of a $350,000 home.

Article 4, a proposed four-year contract with district’s instructional assistants, will cost $66,247 next year if passed. Tax impact would average 3 cents per thousand.

Voters will also get to weigh in on the district’s proposed $45,624,106 overall budget. The new budget represents an $814,106 increase over the current year and would have a tax impact of 35 cents per thousand.

On the town side is Article 4, which asks voters to approve a $275,000 multi-use recreation field. About $95,000 of that would come from general taxation and the rest from bonds.

Article 5, a citizens petition article for the $860,000 bonded purchase of the historic Campbell Farm at 137 Kendall Pond Road, would result in the preservation of the property for educational and recreational uses. If the article is approved, the site would remain a protected conservation spot, with the town making annual payments of $85,000 toward the bond over the course of the next decade.

Article 9, a $16,290 contract with the town’s municipal workers, includes 2 percent cost-of-living raises over the next three years.

Article 10, a $74,820 contract with the town’s firefighters union, represents at 2.5 percent cost-of-living raise that would become effective next month should the item pass.

Article 11, $195,770 contract with the town’s police union, represents the first such contract in several years. The contract, moved forward unchanged to the ballot during last month’s town deliberative session, includes 2.5 percent cost-of-living wage increases starting April 1 and a “hard cap” on accrued earned time of 960 hours.

Article 14 asks voters to approve the purchase of an $850,000 Quint vehicle for the fire department. The vehicle, which is a combination tanker, fire engine and aerial device, would replace the department’s 34-year-old ladder truck. Fire officials said that a positive vote on the item would still be null and void of the department fails to acquire an $807,500 Federal Assistance to Firefighters grant to fund the bulk of the purchase.

Article 29, Windham’s proposed $12,580,680 operating budget, represents a $470,978 increase over the current year’s budget.

Ballot voting on all town and school items will take place Tuesday, March 11, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Windham High School.

aguilmet@newstote.com


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