July 4, 2020

Region 4 School Board Approves $17.32 Million Education Budget After Quiet Public Hearing

REGION 4—  The Region 4 Board of Education approved a proposed $17.32 million education budget for 2011-2012 Thursday after a quiet public hearing on the spending plan.

Only three residents, all current or former selectmen from Chester, turned out for the annual budget hearing. The board made only one minor adjustment to the spending plan after a hearing where there were no calls for changes or reductions to the proposed budget, trimming an additional $2,725 to account for unanticipated savings in debt service expenses on bonds for school building projects. 

The $17,324,933 gross budget is reduced by anticipated revenue to a net budget of $17,109,832 that will be funded by the taxpayers of Chester, Deep River, and Essex.  The budget funds the operations of Valley Regional High School and John Winthrop Middle School.  Both the gross and the net budget totals are up by 1.96 percent over the current appropriation.

The net budget is divided between the three towns based on the number of students from each town attending the two secondary schools. Chester, with 271 students has a 27.6 percent share of the budget, $4,722,314, that is up by $105,990 from the current budget share. Deep River, with 296 students for a 29.12 percent share of the budget, has an assessment of $4,982,383 that is down slightly, by $43,386, from the town’s current assessment.

Essex, with 425 students, has the largest share, 43.28 percent, of the net budget. The Essex assessment, $7,405,135, is up by $266,698, or 3.74 percent, from the town’s current budget share.

The budget approved Thursday goes to the voters of Chester, Deep River, and Essex, for approval in a May 3 referendum. Polls are open from 12 noon to 8 p.m. at the regular election polling places in the three towns. The Region 4 budget has been approved on the first referendum vote in recent years.