Dresden Voters to Weigh In on Budgets

Valley News Staff Writer
Monday, February 26, 2018

Norwich residents will vote on school-related articles from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, at Tracy Hall. The floor meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, March 5, also at Tracy Hall. The Hanover School District’s annual discussion meeting is at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, in the Hanover High School auditorium, where the combined Dresden meeting will follow at 7 p.m.

Hanover residents will vote on warrant articles from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, in the Hanover High gym.

Hanover — Dresden voters this spring will address budgets for their combined school system leading to expected tax rate increases of 2.75 percent in Hanover and 5 percent in Norwich. There are no contested School Board races.

The proposed 2018-19 budget for the Hanover School District, which runs the Ray School and has partial responsibility for the Richmond School, is $14.2 million, a 3.4 percent increase over the current year.

Administrators estimate this, together with the assessment to Hanover residents from the combined Dresden School District budget, would lead to a 36-cent increase on the tax rate in Hanover. Since New Hampshire tax rates are calculated per $1,000 of property valuation, that translates to $144 more on a $400,000 home.

“What the numbers in all of those tables and charts do not show is the exceptional talent and dedication of our teachers, administrators and all of the support staff who work together to provide an outstanding public education for our community’s children,” Superintendent Jay Badams, who joined the interstate district in 2017, said in Dresden’s annual report.

“I have never worked with a group of educators who spend so much time and effort to continuously improve their craft.”

Three Hanover School Board members are running for re-election without challengers. Chairwoman Kelly McConnell is standing for a three-year seat along with Daniel Rockmore, and Rick Johnson is running again for a two-year spot.

In Norwich, the proposed 2018-19 Marion Cross School budget is increasing 1.85 percent in gross spending for a total of $5.68 million. Residents concerned about fifth-grade class sizes who hope to fund another teacher have asked for an additional $100,000, a request included in a separate warning article.

School officials say the main budget combined with the Dresden assessment would add about 9 cents to the tax rate, which in Vermont is calculated per $100 of valuation. That’s the equivalent of $360 more on a $400,000 property. The additional spending request would add another $69, according to administrators.

Norwich School Board members Neil Odell and Lauren Morando Rhim are running unopposed for re-election.

The budget for Dresden School District, which supervises Hanover High School and helps oversee the Richmond School, is up 1.9 percent for total gross spending of $26.5 million.

Dresden’s expenses are divided between Hanover and Norwich in proportion to their student enrollment.

Voters in both towns will weigh in on the Dresden budget from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 6 at Tracy Hall and Hanover High.

Rob Wolfe can be reached at rwolfe@vnews.com or 603-727-3242.