Chichester to vote on security cameras, power generator at school 

Monitor staff
Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Chichester residents will decide whether to install digital security cameras, a new public address system and an auxiliary power generator at the Chichester Central School during the district’s annual meeting Saturday.

Hot topic: The Chichester School District is looking for taxpayers to pay $40,000 for a power generator to be installed in the Chichester Central School.

A power generator at the school would establish it as a viable emergency shelter for the town, principal Brian Beaverstock said. In the town’s current emergency system, displaced Chichester residents are sent to an emergency shelter in Allenstown.

“If we had the generator, if it came down to an ice storm, or a snow or wind storm, if people were displaced from their homes, they would have a safe place to go,” Beaverstock said.

The power generator would also be useful for the school in the event of power outages, he said.

The total cost of installing a power generator would be around $80,000. The school would receive 50 percent of the funding for the project from the New Hampshire Emergency Management Performance Grant.

Beaverstock said the school is in the process of applying for the grant now. If that money isn’t received, the project will not be completed.

The school board and budget advisory committee recommend that the power generator project be completed.

Budget: The proposed operating budget is $6,379,787, up $155,011 from last year. Increases in the technology expenses and infrastructure repairs make up for the bulk of the increase.

Beaverstock said the school is working to implement a 1-to-1 student to technology ratio for all grades. This technology would be in the form of some kind of tablet, computer or Chromebook.

There are also several infrastructure projects in the works, like repairs on the school’s crumbling parking lot and exterior doors. A freezer in the kitchen also requires replacement, Beaverstock said.

If approved, the tax rate will go up 27 cents, amounting to about $67.50 on a $250,000 home.

Noteworthy articles: The Chichester School District is also asking for $6,977 from taxpayers to install security cameras and a new public address system at the Chichester Central School.

The installation of five security cameras at the Chichester Central School would better enable administrators to keep track of people entering and leaving the school. This is an imperative expenditure for safety and liability reasons, Beaverstock said.

“We don’t have eyes on every entrance to the building and this would enable our office and other administrative staff to have access to that,” he said.

Beaverstock described the public address system as an “old, antiquated system.” It does not have the technical capability to broadcast outside, and does not allow teachers to call into the office from their classrooms.

The $6,977 cost to taxpayers would be just 20 percent of the total cost for the security and public announcement system to be installed, Beaverstock said. Eighty percent of the actual cost – $34,886 – would be paid for by the New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management Public School Infrastructure fund.

Contested races: None.

When and where: The district meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on March 10 at Chichester Central School.