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March 12. 2013 11:02PM

Bedford approves all school district warrant articles

BEDFORD – Residents approved all school district warrant articles Tuesday, including a $61.8 million operating budget and a collective bargaining agreement for teachers.
 
As a result, voters can expect to see a 51 cent increase on the tax rate, or $204 on a home valued at $400,000.
 
Voters approved the school district's operating budget of $61,859,142, which will impact the tax rate by 28 cents.
 
The budget includes just over $1 million for McKelvie Intermediate School, which will see traffic and drainage improvements and an upgrade to the building's electrical system.
 
Superintendent Tim Mayes said the improvements had been put off for several years.
 
Voters also said yes to a collective bargaining agreement for teachers in Article 2.
 
The two-year contract will cost taxpayers $729,048 in its first year, and an additional $860,857 in the second.
 
This tax impact for this year's budget is expected to be 21 cents.
 
Voters gave a nod to Articles 4 and 6, which provided salary increases that are part of collective bargaining agreements already in place – Article 4 for custodians at a total of $27,720 and Article 6 for secretaries, clerks and kitchen staff for $44,965.
 
The total tax impact for both articles is two cents on the tax rate.
 
Bedford Superintendent Timothy Mayes said one of the goals of the teacher contract was to maintain a competitive salary structure, and that teachers are beginning to take on an increased cost share for health insurance premiums.
 
Residents also approved an article that would set numeric targets for the passing of AP and IB course exams.
 
On the town side, voters approved the construction of a dog park on Nashua Road, but said it should be privately operated and maintained, subject to a lease with the town.


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