Default budget for Gilford Schools comes in $273K less than plan for 2014-2015

GILFORD — The School Board voted unanimously last night to accept a 2014-2015 default budget of $24.4-million, which is about $273,000 less than the requested budget of $24.7-million that was adopted last month.

The default budget represents the current fiscal year's budget less one-time appropriations and, should the proposed budget fail at the annual town meeting ballot vote in March of 2014, the default budget is automatically adopted.

Last month, Superintendent Kent Hemingway said some of the keys to the recommended budget include a reduction in the health insurance costs of $115,000 because of a premium holiday from the Local Government Center and a $33,000 reduction in the district's worker's compensation insurance cost. He also said the first year of the teachers' collective bargaining agreement that will also be voted on at Town Meeting includes a savings of $156,000 in health insurance.

Hemingway said there are two teacher position reductions — one at the middle school and one at the elementary school — to reflect declining enrollments.

The proposed budget included a three-percent raise for support staff and two major projects — a $200,000 telephone system and $105,000 for auditorium seating.

The School Board will present the proposed 2014-2015 school year budget to the Budget Committee at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.

The School District Deliberative session was set for February 4, 2014.