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January 07. 2014 5:50PM

Salem School Board set to finalize warrant articles

SALEM — At next week’s meeting, the School Board will vote on finalizing the district warrant articles for the March town election ballot.

This year’s articles include the district’s proposed operating budget of $62,539,328 and an appropriation of just under $75 million for a high school renovation and building project. Just under $11 million of the high school project will be paid for out of the state’s pockets for the Career and Technical Education Center and the rest will be paid through a series of bonds.

Voters will also have their say on five district union contracts, including the Salem Education Association contract for the district’s teachers. That proposed contract is for two years and has a no wage increase for the first year and a zero percent increase for the second year.

Contracts for educational assistants, custodians and food services personnel are also on the ballot.

Superintendent Michael Delahanty said the contracts will have a minimal impact on the tax rate. The food services contract will actually have no impact on the tax rate, since the contract will be fully funded by the money brought in by the program.

Delahanty said the contracts were negotiated for different lengths of time, from one year to three years, in part so the School Board would not have to negotiate five contracts in a single fall again.

School Board Chairman Bernard Campbell said the board will meet next Tuesday night and vote on each article individually to place them on the ballot.

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