DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

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February 7, 2013

Derry town, school officials gather to brainstorm

(Continued)

“We need to consolidate our budgets and see what we’re doing,” Town Councilor Joel Olbricht said. “There are four groups here (tonight). We need to harmonize; we need to see where our challenges are.”

That includes finding ways to stabilize Derry’s tax rate.

School officials said they did everything they could to save money, including cutting positions and making cuts wherever they could.

Pinkerton Headmaster Mary Anderson said the school’s enrollment is dropping and that drives the annual tuition rate per student.

Some said groups in town are already working together to help save money.

School district business administrator Jane Simard works closely with town financial chief Frank Childs when it’s time for the tax rate to be set.

The town and school also bond when it comes to sharing facilities and saving money on heating oil and sand during the winter.

“We have a good working relationship with the town,” Simard said. “We do work well together and we are all very aware of our taxpayers. We try to consolidate services and resources.”

Benson said it always seems to be the rising school costs driving the tax rate, but he wants the town to be an equal partner in solving the problem.

“This is not just a school or a Pinkerton problem,” he said. “This is a town problem and it’s not going to go away.”

Benson wants the dialogue to continue.

“I hope you don’t feel this has been a waste of time,” Benson said. “But it’s very, very important for the taxpayers.”

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