Voters approve budget for WLC district

WILTON – About 60 people spent less than an hour on Friday night ap­proving an operating bud­get of about $12.3 million and approving the use of accumulated interest on the school bond.

The warrant consisted of four articles, the fewest anyone could recall.

School Board Chairman Geoff Brock explained the budget, noting the high percentage of the total that is nondiscretionary, such as salaries, benefits, insurance and retirement.

Lyndeborough resident Kevin Boette asked if any money had been unspent last year, and if so, what happened to it.

Brock noted that a school budget is pre­pared 18 months in ad­vance and that the board has to make "some edu­cated guesses," noting that money has to be in the budget in order to be spent and that it’s impos­sible to anticipate some income. About $400,000 was left, and that money was returned to the two towns to reduce taxes.

There was no other dis­cussion.

Board member Jim But­ton said $3,300 in interest had been earned on the school bond, which had been invested when it was received. The board wished to use that money to pay down the interest on the bond, which was approved.

Board member Fran Bujak explained changes that had been made in the district’s Capital Improve­ment Plan, particularly relating to the replace­ment of the high school roof. The roof was last re­placed during the renova­tion in 1999, and the esti­mated cost of replacing it all is $500,000.

"We had the roof evalu­ated," he said, "and a large portion will last an­other five years."

Further payments into the fund have therefore been delayed until 2020-21. There is currently $257,000 in the fund, and the board is withdrawing from that to replace the roof over the gym and the library over the next two years.

Those officials who are retiring were recognized: Cary Hughes and Kelly Eshbeck from the Bud­get Committee and Mary Guild and Fran Bujak from the School Board.