ConVal board discusses proposed budget

  • ConVal school board members discuss the proposed budget. Staff photo by Abby Kessler

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, December 11, 2017 5:34PM

ConVal’s proposed 2018/ 2019 district assessment is projected to climb about 6.72 percent, an increase of about $2.2 million.

The increase is due to an uptick in the district’s overall budget and a decrease in revenues compared to its current operating budget. The budget is projected to increase 1.49 percent, or about $676,200. Revenues are expected to fall about $1.54 million.

The sharp drop in revenues is a result of a confluence of factors, most notably the loss of all of the district’s state building aid dollars. The district’s current budget includes about $440,800 worth of building aid money, which is slated to dry up completely in the projected 2018/2019 school year.

“Although the budget didn’t go up that much, the assessment is going up significantly, primarily due to shifting funds from the state,” school board chair Myron Steere said. “So that’s one of the issues we have to deal with.”

The district also isn’t planning to take as much money out of its unreserved fund balance. The district is proposing to use about $250,000 from the fund balance next year, compared to about $1.37 million it took out under its current operating budget.

Revenue from state adequacy grants, which is based on enrollment numbers, is expected to increase by about $16,500 next year.

The amount of revenue from federal sources is expected to remain flat at about $1.12 million.

Superintendent Kimberly Saunders told school board members that the district has drafted a default budget, although the numbers are still preliminary. She said the district will shore up that number soon and present it to the board.

Science labs

The board voted to proceed with a two-phase science lab renovation at the high school.

Hutter Construction Corporation, a company based out of New Ipswich, is slated to do the work on the project. It has estimated the first phase of the project that includes completing two chemistry rooms would cost about $866,000.

The estimate includes things like the replacement of all light fixtures in the two rooms, replacement of doors and hardware, new low-maintenance flooring, and associated plumbing for sinks and emergency showers/ eyewash. It doesn’t include cost of any work in the existing corridors, builder’s risk insurance or any other special insurance, hazardous material surveys, classroom furnishing, any new HVAC equipment, electrical supply upgrade, and data and security systems.

A bond for the project will be put out to bid during a public hearing later this month.