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Weare voters to decide fate of highway garage

WEARE - Voters will have millions of dollars in spending to consider in the voting booth Tuesday as they weigh in on ballots for the town, the Weare School District and John Stark Regional High School.

On the town side, three seats are up for grabs on the Board of Selectmen, including two three-year positions and a one-year position, and there's a proposal to bond $675,000 to build a new highway garage.

The garage would replace the current structure, which is 33 years old and no longer meets the needs of the Department of Public Works, according to director Tim Redmond.

The current wooden garage houses the town's refueling station but lacks both a ventilation systems and a fire detection and suppression system. The 10-year bond would not increase the tax rate because the bond on the town's safety complex will expire as it goes into effect.

The town is also proposing a $4,883,567 operating budget, and one-year collective bargaining agreements for both the police and public works employees. The police are seeking a 3.5 percent cost of living increase along with step increases for some officers, and the DPW workers are asking for 5 percent pay increases.

The Weare School District has one open seat on the school board and is seeking a $300,000 bond for a new roof for Center Woods Elementary School.

The Weare School District is also seeking approval of a collective bargaining agreement for education support staff of just under $5,000 for salary increases.

At the John Stark Regional School District, the proposed budget of $13,170,725 is less than the district's 2013-14 default budget by $391,877 due to a $400,000 decrease in special education costs, salary reductions due to teacher retirements, and reductions in athletic and co-curricular funding, and other areas.

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