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Whately officials support Frontier budget

— The town will recommend to the townspeople on May 9 they support the proposed Frontier Regional School operating budget.

The Finance Committee, Capital Planning Committee and the Board of Selectmen voted to recommend the budget as presented.

A day after Whately gave its support, the Frontier School Committee cut its budget by $79,395. The new budget is $9,465,693.

The new budget has an overall increase of $387,466 compared to the original budget’s increase of $466,861.

Whately joins Sunderland in supporting the budget. The two towns have the lowest budget increases for next year of the four member towns.

The new budget numbers approved Wednesday show Whately’s share of the budget has decreased by 1.46 percent from this year and next year. Whately’s share is $864,793. Sunderland’s new budget assessment is $1,628,289, or a 0.91 percent increase.

The two other Frontier towns — Conway and Deerfield — are recommending smaller increases. Conway recommends a 2.5 percent overall budget increase while Deerfield recommends 3 percent.

Under the new figure presented by Frontier on Wednesday, Conway’s contribution jumped 16.88 percent, while Deerfield’s is 9.48 percent.

This week, Whately also voted to recommend the controversial $133,250 school capital improvement projects for next year. Whately’s share would be $20,653.

The proposed capital plan includes $67,500 for safety and security improvements, $5,750 for electrical power to the garage and a survey of the emergency generator connection and $60,000 to replace a maintenance pickup and a student transport van.

The town reversed its prior recommendation to not fund the $30,000 pickup after the School Committee removed a $50,000 request for HVAC improvements.

Other towns would pay: $17,242 for Conway, $60,295 for Deerfield and $35,058 for Sunderland.

Whately’s partner towns are not favoring the capital projects. Sunderland is recommending only its $17,759 share of the $67,500 building safety and security updates Deerfield Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee decided they will only recommend $14,819 of its $60,295 share of Frontier capital improvements.

The Conway Finance Committee recommended supporting the safety and security projects and electrical improvements. It voted against supporting the pickup and was undecided on the van.

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