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Pelham - Windham News 10 - October 22, 2010


CIP Item- continued from front page


There was some discussion about two of the roofs at Windham Center School, as well as one of the roofs at Windham Middle School. “They are nearing the end of their life-span,” Billings said, adding that “in a perfect world,” they should be replaced in a year or tow. “But in this economy, that might not be feasible,” he added. “There are no leaks in the buildings right now,” Billings explained, adding that some minor repairs to the roofs have been done recently. The issue “is not critical yet,” he said.


As for the condition of the old boiler at Golden Brook School, Billings said, “We’re keeping it running right now,” but it is nearing the end of its life expectancy and will need to be replaced in the not- too-distant future. Referring to the roofs and the boiler, Gallagher said, “It’s so important that we protect our existing assets,” and not let them deteriorate. “It’s difficult to develop a Capital Reserve Fund list until you know what any expansion plans might be,” Billings said, referring to the need to develop priorities.


Other plans for modifications include the possibility of buying additional generators in case of power outages, as well as updating the energy efficiency of lighting at Windham’s three older schools. Some of these energy-efficient alterations are eligible for rebates, Billings said, and the investment could see a payback in savings in about three years.


Gallagher told CIP committee members that school administrators will get additional estimates on the cost of items, which might be included under a Capital Reserve Fund account. “Get the number, whatever it is,” CIP committee member Jack Merchant said. “We need to put it all out there for the voters to review,” committee member Rob Gustafson added.


A public hearing on the proposals being put forth by the Capital Improvement Plan committee will be held on Wednesday, November 17, at 7 p.m. at the old Town Hall on North Lowell Road. This will include both town and school district CIP requests.


Public Workshops and Hearings


on Zoning Ordinance Revisions submitted by Elizabeth Wood, Community Planner, Windham The Planning Board is regularly hosting public workshops and public hearings to discuss proposed revisions to the Zoning and Land Use Regulations in preparation for the 2011 Town Meeting throughout the months of November and December. The public is welcomed to attend and encouraged to participate. Workshops and public hearings


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will generally be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Community Development Department. All public hearings will be advertised in the newspaper. The workshop topics, public hearing topics, and exact meeting dates, times, and locations will be posted to the Town Website, at Town Hall, and at the Community Development Department. Copies of the proposed ordinances will be posted on the town’s Website and be available at the Community Development Department. Feel free to contact the Community


Development Department at 432-3806, or visit the town Website at www. windhamnewhampshire.com if you have questions or would like more information.


Slight Drop in Salem High School Tuition


by Barbara O’Brien The cost of sending Windham High School students to Salem High School is seeing a slight drop this year— something that hasn’t happened in quite a few years. Windham School Board member Bruce Anderson said that Salem has set its high school tuition rate for the current 2010-2011 school year at $9,909.26 per student. The tuition cost is based on a State formula that calculates the average per-pupil cost of educating all students at Salem High School, not just those who are sent there from other area communities. Currently, only seniors from Windham attend high


school classes in Salem. Windham opened its own high school in September 2009. The first year, only freshmen and sophomores went to Windham High School, while juniors and seniors continued taking all their classes at Salem High. This year, freshmen, sophomores, and most of the juniors attend Windham High. For the current school year, there are 170 Windham students attending Salem High School, a total that is comprised of 160 seniors and 10 juniors. At a cost of


$9,909.26 per pupil, the total tuition cost being charged the Windham School District for these high school students is $1,684,574.20. Windham School Board members chose to gradually


transition individual classes into the new high school to alleviate the educational and emotional burden on students who had already spent at least two years at Salem High School and felt that they were a part of that high school community, rather than disrupt their ongoing education and extracurricular and athletic activities. This will be the last year that Windham students attend Salem High School through a tuition agreement with that school district. The 2011-2012 school year will be the first time that all four grade levels will be attending Windham High School. The Class of 2012 will be Windham High School’s very first graduating class. Windham students participating in the Career


Technology (CT) Program and Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) will continue to take courses at Salem High School for the foreseeable future. These students will continue to be transported by school bus.


Sewer Study- continued from front page


services needed to secure possible grants. CIP committee member Jack Merchant questioned


whether or not $60,000 would be sufficient to pay for all the work that needs to be done in Phase 3. “Don’t be shy,” Merchant told Scott, “If you need more, ask for it.” Merchant said he feels this phase of the study could cost about $75,000. Selectmen’s Chairman Charles McMahon said it is “critical” to do the work now, while the construction of the I-93 expansion is underway. “When the digging is done, the window of opportunity closes,” he said. “This is so worthwhile,” McMahon continued. “A broader tax base in Windham is not available without a sewer system.”


Scott agreed that building a sewer system in this portion of Windham would provide a great incentive for economic development, which would relieve some of the tax burden on homeowners. A sewer system is mentioned in Windham’s Master Plan as well, she commented.


As for the third phase of the study, no engineering firm has been hired at this point, Scott said, nor has any legal representation been acquired. She said she would go out to bid on these services if the Town goes forward with Phase Three. Town Counsel Bernie Campbell would not be used for this project, as he represents several clients


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2010 Town Revenue ‘On Track’


by Barbara O’Brien Approximately 60 percent of Windham’s annual


town budget is raised through general taxation. The other 40 percent or so is from other revenue sources. Of the approximately 40 percent of revenue collected through these other sources, seven percent comes from money raised by the State of New Hampshire, leaving some 33 percent under the auspices of the five-member Board of Selectmen.


More than three-quarters through 2010, Assistant


Town Administrator Dana Call, who also serves as Windham’s Director of Finance, reports, “We are on track to meet the revenue goal for this year.” For 2010, the amount of money the town of


Windham has to raise through actual taxation to meet its approved operating budget of $12,894,315 totals $7,986,115. This is an increase of $148,216 from the amount of taxes needed to be raised to meet the town budget in 2009.


In addition to real estate taxes collected to pay


for town services, approximately $191,867 is expected to be collected through interest earned, boat registrations, and yield taxes. Another $2,776,880 is expected to be garnered through motor vehicle registration and the issuance of building permits. State revenues, including Meals and Rooms


State Representatives Tweedle-Dum & Tweedle-Dee


Bates: “But Marilinda, if you don’t go to the Concord State House to vote and represent your district, how do you expect to get re-elected?”


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Bates: “Yeah, that works. I just follow my party blindly without even knowing what I’m voting for. For example, most of the time I’m against expanding gambling in Rockingham Park, except during an election year.”


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Taxes and Highway Block Grants, are expected to bring in another $876,167. Income from cable services, as well as various departmental assessment fees, should add up to about another $514,854. The Town’s sale of the Armstrong Road property earlier this year netted the Town of Windham $50,500. Approximately $30,000 is being earned on the interest paid on certain investments, while Federal grants and donations total $163,928. Funds from other sources, such as State Project Aid and special revenue funds, including money from the Searles School/Chapel Fund and money set aside for the new salt shed (Capital Reserve Fund), add up to $280,364. According to Call, the total amount of money amassed in this year’s General Revenue Fund should be an estimated $5,267,200.


Adding together all of the revenue sources anticipated for 2010, including money raised through real estate taxation, there could be an approximate $350,000 surplus at year’s end. These figures do not include any statistics on the Windham School District’s side of the ledger.


in Salem and also owns property there himself. It would be conflict of interest to hire him for this project, Scott explained.


As for hookup fees for residences and businesses along the sewer line routes, Scott said the fee can be determined through a variety of processes, and has been done differently in different communities. Generally, though, she said, hooking up to the system is mandatory. Scott also said that nobody is proposing the establishment of a town sewer department, nor would creation of such a sewer system alter the town’s current zoning. CIP Committee member Rob Gustafson asked, “How


do you get taxpayers who aren’t around the pond [Cobbett’s] to vote for this?” “The sewer system would benefit the entire town through natural resource protection,” Scott replied. Scott went on to explain that the portion of Phase 3 intended for public outreach and education would be used to let residents know all the benefits of supporting such a system.


If the CIP committee decides to include the sewer


study on its recommendations for next March, and voters, ultimately, approve spending the money, a sewer construction bond could appear on the Windham Town Ballot in 2012.


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