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Author Topic: LT - Budget Committee To Examine Duplication of Services  (Read 840 times)
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« on: October 07, 2007, 07:55:26 AM »

from the Londonderry Times

Budget Committee To Examine Duplication of Services
April Guilmet
Londonderry Times
October 4, 2007

During last week’s meeting, members of the town’s Budget Committee focused on their goals for the coming fiscal year.

The seven resulting goals included updating this fiscal year’s taxpayer White Paper; updating both school and town budget reports; updating Open Space reports; creating reports of both the town’s long-term debt and future revenue growth; taking a look at ways both the town and school can remove redundant services; and closely analyzing the school district’s student to teacher ratio over the past few years.

A top priority, said committee member Mike Brown, was updating the Taxpayer White Paper for this fiscal year. Brown said this year’s tax rate was currently in review status, and the information was expected to be available later this month.

The White Paper for 2007 may currently be reviewed via the town Web site. Prepared last year for the first time, the document is an interactive spreadsheet that allows taxpayers to automatically calculate where their tax dollars are spent among town and school departments. It also calculates which portion of a resident’s tax bill goes toward bonded items.

Current tax bills will be sent sometime in November.

Committee chairman Tom Freda said the group has been working on historical information with town and school budgets. “This is just basic information - the budgets are in line with overall trends,” Freda said last week. The main purpose is for members to be able to look back at recent years and compare patterns in the budget.

School board liaison Dan Bever said business administrator Peter Curro would be reviewing the school budget once again, though staff had already completed the long-term debt report.

The town’s budget report on the Open Space article is in need of updating, committee members said, and town staff is also completing reports on the town’s long-term debt.

Freda said the town’s future revenue growth would be discussed during an upcoming meeting on Capital Improvement projects.

Eliminating redundant services would be one way to save the town money in the coming years, he added.

“There seems to be some overlap,” Freda said, emphasizing that such overlap may be occurring in the town and school’s Internet technology and library system. In the future, he said the town and school district would likely be working together to figure out what can be combined.

The idea is to “share in the resources of each other, so as not to burden the efforts in a number of areas,” Freda said. The emphasis, he added, would be on setting a single strategy rather than a single set of people. A main priority would be to identify opportunities for shared services.

Brown agreed. “If it were a simple mission, such as for the two library heads to compare lists of resources, that may be good enough,” he said.

Glenn Douglas
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