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Selectmen's Meeting Minutes 01/22/03
January 22, 2003

Selectmen Present:  Mrs. Knight and Mr. Clukey
Selectmen Absent:  Mrs. Silverman  

Mr. Clukey opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m.


                        Win Wright and Robin Marra
                        Tom Parker and John Tommila:  Robin Marra was not in
attendance.  Mr. Wright stated that they are asking for a $28,000,000 bond for the new high school.   Last night Mr. Moriarty questioned the legality of the meeting since they did not have a quorum at the meeting.  They checked with the school attorney and he stated this was a legal meeting.  The new school can handle 1200 students.  The architect only does schools.  This will be a 200,000 square foot facility.   The cafeteria is about 6000 square feet.  They will be able to feed the school in two settings.  There will be two shops, a graphic arts room, media center, and music auditorium with 800 seats.  A 12,000 square foot gymnasium with seating for 1000.  The $28,000,000 includes everything, desks, computers etc.  The interest rate as of yesterday was 4.5522.  They are hoping to have no tax impact for the first year with this rate.  $669,700 annual interest payment estimated over 20 years. $1,299,070 annual payments.  This averages about $170 on a tax bill of a house valued at 100,000.   The existing building is looking into being renovated for a Jr. High.  They would give the district schools the option of moving six grades to this school.  Mr. Parker stated that the budget committee has not received any figures on the cost to renovate this building. They are looking to include a special education school.  The Gilsum school only has 30 students in the school.  They are exploring closing one of the northern schools.  They would have the option to send their children to any school within the district.  Mr. Tommila questioned if they ever considered building a new school for two grades for the middle school.  Mr. Wright stated that they surveyed 1000 students for a survey.  50% students are late frequently to class.  75% do not have enough locker space 80% felt a Jr. High School is needed.   Mr. Tommila stated that asking a child if they would like a new school is like taking a child to a candy store.  Mr. Wright stated that they would like to contact past graduates.  They would use the existing athletic fields.  The existing fields are adequate with some upgrades that are included this year.     

Mr. Parker stated that he and John Tommila took a tour of the facility.  He did not feel that the hallways were excessively overcrowded. There was one class with 5 students.  There were empty classrooms.  The class sizes were extremely small.  Mr. Tommila feels that some of this is management.  Mrs. Knight questioned when the deliberative session is.  Mr. Wright stated that it is February 1, 2002 at 10:00.  Mr. Tommila questioned if Mr. Wright and Mr. Marra questioned their constituents to determine their stand on this matter.  He also questioned why they did not give them options.  They felt that people when given an option take the lower option.  Mr. Wright stated that it is his job as chairman to present this proposal because it was the majority of the school board.   There will be a presentation at February 3 at 6:30 at Emerson with regard to this proposal.                     

They were asked why they did not make the existing building three stories, the additional cost would not be cost prohibitive.  

Mr. Wright stated that we need to also think about the article to change the formula.  Mrs. Thompson questioned what adequate education grant they are using.  Mr. Wright stated he feels that they are using last years.  Mr. Parker feels that we are going to lose out on state aid.  Mr. Parker stated that the original increase in the budget was 17%. The school board and the administration negotiated with 11%.  The Budget Committee increase is 7.753%.   The default budget is even lower at 6.68%.  Mr. Parker stated that presumably the default budget is last year’s budget plus increases.  Mr. Dausault was threatening cuts if the default budget is passed.  $25,720,826 is the amount that the budget committee is recommending.  Mr. Parker stated that the budget committee felt strongly that maintenance         
was a priority.  This money is coming out of a capital reserve fund.  This would be for maintenance projects that come up during the year.   They also have an article to put money back into this fund from money coming back from the Emerson project.  Mr. Parker stated that everyone needs to look at how we fund education.  

Mr. Parker would like to see a better long-range project for all of the schools.  Mr. Tommila stated that what they called the band aid approach included cafeterias, library, boiler rooms, classrooms and our administration call it a band aid.  Mrs. Knight stated that sometimes this is the only way to get things done.  

Mrs. Thompson questioned if we have to post the budget here. Mr. Wright stated that it has been posted.  It has been posted at the Schools, and Swanzey library and each school would have it posted.                  

            respond and state that we understand his concerns and we are looking into
            how best to proceed.

           Mrs. Knight moved to accept this resignation, Mr. Clukey seconded, the motion
            passed 3-0.  Mrs. Thompson will draft letter of thanks to her.

            Thompson, Mrs. Favreau and Mr. Clukey will attend.  

             Re:  Warrant Article:  The board would like the Conservation Commission to
            petition this article.  Mrs. Thompson will send them a letter with regard to this

***     2003 BUDGET


***      GENERATOR: Mrs. Thompson received a quote from Southworth Milton with
            regard to the generator for the grant.   Mrs. Knight questioned if the school would
            pay for the transfer switch.  Mr. Wright stated hopefully.      Mr. Wright stated
            one of the problems is where to store this.  He is looking at Meadowood.   Mr.
            Wright would like to put a lighting system on the trailer.   

               At 7:10pm, Mrs. Knight made a motion to go into Non-Public Session under RSA 91 A:3 II  (e). Mr. Clukey seconded the motion. The motion passed 2-
           0.  Roll  Call Vote; Mr. Clukey – yes. Mrs. Knight - yes.
               At 7:15pm. Mr. Clukey made a motion to go out of Non-Public Session under
             RSA 91 A:3 II  (e). Mrs.Knight seconded the motion. The motion passed 2-0.

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There being no further business, at 8:50 PM Mr. Clukey made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Mrs. Knight and passed 2-0.

Submitted by,                                   

Debbie Favreau                          
Joan Knight
Andrew D. Clukey

13 Templeton Turnpike, PO Box 725 Fitzwilliam, NH 03447
Phone: 603.585.7723   Fax: 603.585.7744
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