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Goffstown's budget panel set to present final town figures

GOFFSTOWN - The Budget Committee approved final figures for the town and school budgets that will be presented at a public hearing on Jan. 8, 2013.

In the town budget, the committee approved a final figure of $19,395,582 after removing $185,000 from the Public Works budget for a new 10-wheel dump truck.

The tax impact of the revised budget for the town, including all warrant articles, will be approximately $9.58 per thousand dollars of assessed home value, according to Budget Committee Chairman Peter Georgantas, a 19 cent increase over this year's rate of $9.39, which was based on a default budget.

The Budget Committee approved draft warrant articles as presented by the Board of Selectmen, that will appear on the March ballot.

Several articles will have no tax impact, as they are expected to be paid for with money from the town's unreserved fund balance.

The town will ask voters to appropriate $277,000 for financial software for town offices, $169,000 for police software and data conversion, and $120,000 to address a culvert and slope failure on town land, all of which will come out of the fund balance.

A proposed roundabout at the intersection of Main and Pleasant Streets and traffic calming at Main, Elm and High Streets will also appear as a warrant article, with $446,270 coming from federal grant money, $62,448 from impact fees and $252,682 coming from the unreserved fund balance, resulting in no tax impact.

The Budget Committee also gave final approval on reductions made in the school district budget that totaled $367,865, which included new positions at Goffstown High School and Mountain View Middle School, math books and field trip transportation.

The total school district budget approved by the Budget Committee is $35,926,280, with a default budget of $35,230,990.

School Board Vice Chair Dian McCarthy addressed the Budget Committee regarding the reductions.

"Whenever you make a cut to a line at Mountain View or Goffstown High, it affects tuition revenues," she said, adding that the district is in a customer service situation with its two sending districts, New Boston and Dunbarton.

"They are questioning , what are they getting, what are they paying for," she said.

McCarthy said the school district has yet to determine which warrant articles will be on the ballot, but a collective bargaining agreement for teachers and improvements at Maple Avenue and Bartlett elementary schools are likely.

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