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First draft of G-M budget unveiled

TURNERS FALLS — Under the first draft of the preliminary Gill-Montague Regional School District’s budget for next school year, the towns would see a nearly million dollar, or nearly 6 percent, increase, and share a $653,006 assessment hike.

The lump-sum local assessments, not yet divided between Montague and the much smaller Gill, comes to $9,911,268.

Interim Superintendent Mark Prince and Andrew Paquette of district business office contractor The Management Solution presented the early figures to the Gill-Montague School Committee.

Prince said the budget, totalling $19,155,043, is based on level services for the schools and stressed the budget is in the very early stages.

“Seventy-five percent of the information we have in here we know is not correct,” Prince said, with figures for eight of 12 funding sources not yet known.

This year’s budget was approved as $16,567,640, but the two figures represent different ways of presenting the budget rather than an actual $3-million-plus increase.

As its name suggests, the new “all funds” approach includes in the total all funds, where the previous calculation excluded grants and revolving accounts, according to Paquette.

Presented in the old style, the preliminary budget is $17.5 million, for an increase of $975,000 from this year, Paquette said, an approximately 5.88 percent increase.

Montague Finance Committee Chairman John Hanold, in the audience at the meeting, said based on quick calculations and the town’s own preliminary projections it looked as though Montague’s share of the increase would be about $555,000.

That figure is $100,000 higher than the town’s total projected increase in revenue, Hanold said.

The committee scheduled a public hearing on the budget for Feb. 12 at 5:45 p.m. in the high school.

You can reach Chris Curtis at:
ccurtis@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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