Voters asked to approve $652,421 budget increase for Hopkinton schools

  • Hopkinton High School was ranked as the number one New Hampshire high school by U.S. News & World Report for the third year in a row, April 21, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz

Monitor staff
Wednesday, March 07, 2018

With the $30 million school facility project no longer on the table, the biggest item Hopkinton residents will have to decide on Saturday is the school district’s budget.

Hot topic: The budget has steadily risen over the last several years, increasing from $16.2 million in actual expenditures during the 2013-14 school year to an operating budget of $19.3 million this school year. The proposed operating budget for the 2018-19 school year is $20,000,471 – up $652,421 from the current budget. If approved, the tax rate would go up 15 cents, which is about $30 on a $200,000 home.

School officials have singled out district salaries, benefits, professional contract services and security improvement upgrades as reasons for the latest proposed budget increase. The district received a $317,000 state grant to improve the schools’ security systems, but taxpayers are responsible for about $79,000 in additional costs should the project move forward.

Noteworthy articles: The district is asking for $200,000 to purchase the current Boys & Girls Club of Greater Concord building at 195 Park Avenue in Contoocook, which could be renovated and expanded to accommodate SAU offices. In addition, school officials are seeking $25,000 for the architectural and engineering designs necessary to repurpose the space.

Voters will also be asked to approve a collective bargaining agreement with the Teamsters Local No. 633, representing school custodians, with an estimated increase of $4,369 during the 2018-19 school year and an increase of $4,535 during year two of the contract.

Contested races: None.

When and where: The town meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Hopkinton High School gymnasium. Ballot voting will take place Tuesday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at Hopkinton Middle/High School.