Milford School District plans new parking, better wifi

MILFORD – The Milford School Board is eyeing improvements both inside and outside of its schools for the upcoming school year.

The proposed operating budget for fiscal 2014 is $37,605,537, which is a $418,941 increase from the current budget. It includes, a school resource officer for the school year, a reduction of four teaching positions and increased funding for technology and related positions. Three new computer laboratories are being proposed, as well as 26 LCD projectors and document cameras.

Adapting to new technology is a high priority for the school district with the increased use of tablets and other devices. The board has proposed spending $172,000 on improving wireless access in its schools with unspent funds left over from a current bond. A $39,000 carpet replacement project at the high school would use the other part of the unused amount.

Both of these projects will have no additional tax impact, and the leftover bond money would have to be returned to voters if left unspent.

The school board is also asking voters to approve $50,506 to add 40 additional parking spaces along the east side of the access road between Milford High School and Milford Middle School.

School Board Chairman Paul Dargie said that parking has been a long-term problem that needs to be addressed. Residents in attendance wanted to make sure that this solution did not negatively affect their property. These concerns included water drainage and ensuring proper lighting that doesn’t intrude on residential property.

Milford voters will also decide on a collective bargaining agreement between the school board and the Milford administration group. They have settled on a four-year contract with no cost of living increase next year. It also includes increased employee health insurance costs for new employees and reduced health insurance opt-out benefits.

The agreement allows two early retirees in one year and partial reimbursement for those who take more than 12 college credits in one year. This agreement would cost $923 for health insurance in the next fiscal year and a total of $132,632 for salaries and wage-driven benefits over the following three years.

The Milford School District will hold its deliberative session at 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 6 in the Milford High School cafeteria.