Westford school budget set for atm – news – westford eagle – westford, ma mode s database

Mark you calendar for the westford annual town meeting on saturday, march 24 at the abbot school. The school committee and central office has been busy preparing their fiscal 2019 budget and capital project plans, including a new westford academy track. Westford residents will vote on all fiscal 2019 town budgets including the school budget at town meeting.

After a public budget hearing during the feb 26 school committee meeting, the committee voted unanimously, 6-0, to approve a fiscal 2019 budget that includes new requests for a director of public facilities and facilities data analyst.

The proposed budget of $57,997,394 represents a 2.56 percent increase over the fiscal 2018 budget, and includes almost $1.3 million in reductions made by the school committee at the behest of town manager jodi ross.School committee


On jan 8, the school committee had approved an earlier budget version that removed the two new facility positions (a $121,705 reduction). Since then, director of school finance kathy auth negotiated with ross for the funds to hire the two facilities employees.

A compromise was reached. According to auth, ross has since recommended allocating additional revenue sources of $69,032 to the school department to fund the facilities positions for fiscal 2019. The positions would be added mid‐year to reduce the first year budget impact.

“we are taking on funding for one-half year of the facility positions. But next year it will be full year. Hopefully the town is willing to work with us,” said gloria miller, school committee member.Fiscal 2019

Auth reported there were four bidders for the westford academy track replacement project. She said that school consultants recommended the lowest-bidder meeting all the requirements, heimlich landscaping and construction of woburn, and checked their references.

“appropriation will come at town meeting,” said auth. “we need to give heimlich landscaping a letter of intent. We are very happy with heimlich.”

The school committee voted unanimously, 6–0, to issue a letter of intent for $558,000 for both the standard track implementation, and an alternative bid for $30,000 extra for a thicker track. School committee member arthur benoit was absent from the vote.Town meeting

“they have done projects for other school districts,” said auth. “it’s a summer project. They will be ready to go, I believe, the day after graduation, maybe two days later.”

The new track will have a three-inch sub-surface in both the standard and alternative implementations. Auth said that the alternate bid would provide a thicker top-layer track surface of one-half inch rather than the three-eighth inch top layer that was specified in the base bid.

“as for the question of whether the additional thickness extends the life of the surface, this depends on maintenance and amount of use. The general rule of thumb is that a track should be recoated (sprayed) every seven years, and if this is done the track should last 20 years,” auth told the eagle.Fiscal 2019 “the additional thickness provided by the alternate will help the track make that seven year mark and possible longer.”

Olsen touched on the student and staff walkouts associated with the feb. 14 school shooting tragedy in parkland, florida. He informed the school committee that he will be attending a gathering of superintendents to discuss school safety.

In response to the reoccurring violence in this country in recent years, specifically in the schools, the next westford school committee meeting will be a public safety forum held at stony brook middle school auditorium on monday, march 12 at 7 p.M.

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