Milford district session will weigh $33.8m plan

MILFORD – The School District’s Deliberative Session will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.

At the session, registered voters will be given a presentation on the proposed town operating budget and other warrant articles. Voters will be able to discuss each item on the warrant, and then either approve or amend it. The version of the warrant agreed upon at the Deliberative Session will be voted on in the March 10 election.

Here is a look at the warrant that will be presented at the deliberative session:

Budget: The proposed operating budget for the Milford School District for 2009-10 is $33,829,712, an increase of $1,211,533, or 3.7 percent, over this year’s budget.The operating budget includes several new positions, most of them to establish kindergarten, including 5.5 teachers, six part-time associates, additional custodian and guidance hours, a half-time special education secretary and a principal’s salary adjustment.

Also in the budget is money for a part-time world language teacher for the middle school and a culinary teacher for the high school.

>>Town Meeting ‘09<< The default budget, which would go into effect by law if voters reject the operating budget, is $33,783,533. If the proposed budget passes, it is estimated to add 49 cents to the school portion of the tax rate, for a total school tax rate of $13.25. Other warrant articles: Two separate warrant articles include increases in salaries and benefits for teachers and support staff that are part of newly ratified collective bargaining agreements. The added costs for the teachers' four-year contract is $646,332 for 2009-10, going up to $839,461 in 2012-13. Tax impact (this year): 41 cents. The added costs for the support staffs' first-ever contract is $142.648 for next year, $157,668 for 2010-11 and $95,670 for 2011-12. Tax impact (this year): 9 cents. Also on the warrant is a $1,706,038 bond for the razing of the Bales annex building to construct a four-classroom addition onto Jacques Elementary School to make room for kindergarten. All but $426,509 will be paid for by a state kindergarten contraction grant. This year the tax impact from the bond is less than one cent, but in 2010-11 the impact will be 6 or 7 cents. This article requires a 60 percent supermajority to pass. Total tax impact: If the school budget and all the warrant articles pass, the school portion of the tax rate is estimated to go up 49 cents, to $13.75 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. That means the owner of a home assessed at $300,000 would pay an additional $147 next year.