Two towns weigh Souhegan budget


AMHERST – Amherst and Mont Vernon taxpayers are being presented with Souhegan Cooperative School District’s proposed $13.5 million operating budget tonight. The amount represents a 5 percent increase over last year’s budget of $12.9 million.

A loss of about $1.2 million in state education grants will have a “direct impact to the tax rate,” said School Board Chairwoman Addie Hutchison.

If the budget is approved, the school tax rate would go up an estimated $1.41 per $1,000 of assessed valuation in Amherst, adding $282 to the annual bill for a $200,000 home.

The school tax rate in Mont Vernon would go up $1.61 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, adding $322 to the annual bill of a $200,000 home.

Teacher salaries are up by 4 percent in the new budget. Due to an increase in student enrollment, the budget also adds two new positions: a half-time physical education/wellness teacher and a half-time guidance counselor.

The last time a guidance counselor was added was when the student body reached 800 students.

It is now at more than 1,000 students, Hutchison said.

She said much of the budget remained relatively flat from last year.

Additional funds were allocated to the science department for the purchase of new equipment such as microscopes.

This department had been affected by cuts made to previous budgets and the expenditures would have a direct impact on student learning, Hutchison said.

Lynn Tryba can be reached at 594-6402 or