Created on Friday, 09 March 2007 03:35
Last Updated on Friday, 09 March 2007 03:35
By Erin Post
Voters on Town Meeting Day approved an $11.2 million budget for Harwood
Union Middle/High School, as well as a $75,000 allocation for a capital
However, the school will have to wait until another time to repave the
horseshoe-shaped bus loading area in front of the building.
Voters shot down the $80,000 article by 30 votes: 1,390 to 1,360.
The school budget--which carries a spending increase of about 5.8
percent--passed by a vote of 1,713 to 1,060. School officials have said
that much of the spending hike included in the budget can be attributed
to special education costs, some of which are reimbursed by the state.
An article to allocate $75,000 to a capital improvements and facilities maintenance reserve fund was approved 1,745 to 1,002.
School principal Duane Pierson said he's satisfied that the budget is
"fiscally responsible," and that it also meets the needs of students.
The board worked collaboratively with the staff and the public on the
budget, he said, a process that allowed for multiple opinions and
feedback as the spending plan came together.
Regarding the article to repave the bus loading area, Pierson said the
proposal may be something the school returns to as part of a larger,
more comprehensive package to address outdoor facilities and school
"We need to go back and take a long-term approach," he said.
Although a plan to revamp the school's athletic fields has been delayed
this year, the board may opt to return to the issue in the future,
Pierson said, and present a proposal to voters along with other outdoor
According to information from the school, the $11.2 million budget is
expected to increase the average assessment across the six towns served
by Harwood Union by 3.5 percent.