Budgets, labor contracts among top Conway issues
CONWAY — Although petitioned articles to adopt tax caps for both the town and school district are expected to generate most of the discussion at next week's deliberative sessions, voters will also consider operating budgets and labor contracts with unions representing municipal employees, teachers and support staff.
Both deliberative sessions will be held at Kennett High School; the school session on March 3, the town's on March 5. The final school and town warrants will then be voted on April 8.
The school warrant asks voters to raise and appropriate $54,443 to place in the Kennett High School Facilities Maintenance Fund; $365,125 to cover the collective bargaining agreement between the Conway School Board and the Conway Education Association; and to adopt a proposed budget of $33,848,895, which has been recommended by the Conway Budget Committee. The School Board, however, has proposed a budget of $34,099,504.
In addition to a labor agreement with teachers, voters will review one between the school board and the Conway Educational Support Personnel and also the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
Voters are asked to appropriate $75,000 and to place it into a capital reserve fund for school buses; $100,000 into the School Buildings Maintenance Fund; and whether to discontinue the Tuition Trust Fund, with the balance of the money transferred to the school district's general fund.
At the town deliberative session, voters will weigh an operating budget of $10,141,914; the default budget is $10,130,348. The article is supported by both the Conway Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee.
Also on the warrant is a three-year labor agreement between the town and the AFSCME #93, Local 859, Department of Public Works; a recommendation to place $325,000 into a capital reserve fund for infrastructure improvements; and $275,000 into an account for the acquisition of highway equipment.
There are also capital fund articles to raise money for solid waste equipment, landfill expansion, maintenance of municipal buildings and facilities, parks department vehicles and equipment, police vehicles and public education and government television services.Voters will decide whether the final warrant should include $10,000 to fund a records-retention and archiving project in the town clerk's office; $20,000 to support the town's 250th anniversary celebration in 2015; and $10,000 for the support of the Eastern Slope Airport.
Petitioned town articles seek $35,565 for the White Mountain Community Health Center; $35,000 for the Gibson Center for Senior Services; $13,000 for Tri-County Community Action; $13,000 for Children Unlimited; $75,000 for the North Conway Community Center; $4,000 for the Carroll County Transit Blue Loon bus service; $6,935 for Starting Point, which provides advocacy and support to victims of domestic and sexual violence and their children; $10,000 for Vaughan Community Services; $3,000 for the North Conway Daycare Center; and $10,115 for the Mental Health Center.
Other petitioned articles seek to have the town dedicate a section of Greeley Road in the memory of Brian Abrams and to raise the annual compensation for the supervisors of the checklist by $300.