Storm pushes deliberative session to Thursday

PETERBOROUGH — Due to the threat of a snowstorm on Wednesday, ConVal School District officials are postponing the district’s deliberative session, rescheduling it for Thursday. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the ConVal High School gymnasium.

The deliberative session is where voters can discuss and possibly amend the district’s budget proposal and warrant articles prior to voting at the polls on March 11.

The district’s proposed gross budget for 2014-2015 is $45,793,510, an increase of less than one percent over the previous year’s approved budget. Revenues are expected to decline, largely due to a reduction of about $195,000 in state adequacy aid, which is partially based on school enrollment. As a result, the district assessment — the amount to be raised by taxation — would increase by about 3 percent if the budget is approved.

Voters will also review a warrant article calling for $545,419 to reconstruct the ConVal High School parking lot. If the article is approved, $300,000 would come from the district’s Building Capital Reserve Fund, leaving $245,419 to be raised by taxation. Last year, the district did some work on the parking lot, adding separate school bus drop-off lanes and rearranging the parking layout. District officials have said the lot needs to be completely rebuilt, because tests have shown that the underlying materials are inadequate, which has led to extensive problems with the surface.

Other warrant articles call for resurfacing and upgrading the track at the high school, a project that would use $185,000 from the Daniels trust and require $80,350 to be raised through taxation, and upgrading the exit road from South Meadow School to provide two turning lanes onto Route 202, which would cost $150,000, with $50,000 coming from the Building Capital Reserve Fund. School officials are also proposing to spend $45,000 over three years to purchase a tractor for the district’s Facilities Department.

The Selectmen’s Advisory Committee voted unanimously not to support the budget or the warrant articles for the parking lot, the track and the access road. They voted to support the request for a tractor.

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