Hampstead Budget Committee Recommends Against Every School Article

HAMPSTEAD – The Budget Committee has made its decisions on recommending or not recommending school district articles for the March warrant. In every case, the committee voted not to recommend the article.

Meeting Tuesday evening, Jan. 14, following the School Board public hearings, the committee decided as follows:

• Article 2, a 10-year bond for $6,180,520 for Phase I of Hampstead Central School and Hampstead Middle School’s Renovation and Construction Project, with $133,911.27 to be raised and appropriated for the first year’s interest payment on the bond. The committee voted unanimously not to recommend it.

• Article 3, the Operating Budget of $23,863,412 with a default amount of $23,853,314. The committee voted 4-1 against recommending, with only Chris Howe voting to recommend.

• Article 4, the School Administrative Unit (SAU) Budget of $1,467,024, of which amount the Hampstead portion is $392,283, with a default amount of $322,187, the committee unanimously voted against recommending.

• Article 5, the Capital Reserve Fund, asking voters to approve $75,000 to be placed into the School Renovation and Reconstruction and Capital Improvement Capital Reserve Fund. Proctor Wentworth was the lone member voting to recommend.

At that meeting, Budget Committee member Matt Murphy also gave the committee the option to reconsider Article 8 on the Town Warrant – the Recreation Commission’s request for $24,500 to build a basketball court. Murphy took this action in light of information provided by the Recreation Committee at the Jan. 13 selectman’s meeting, as reported last week by the Tri-Town Times.

A motion to reconsider was made by Steve Londrigan and seconded by Wentworth and a discussion ensued, as the members looked at the documents the Recreation Commission had provided.

All five members then voted not to recommend the warrant article. The previous vote on this article by the committee was 4-1 not to recommend, with Londrigan saying he had insufficient information to vote either for or against it.

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