, Derry, New Hampshire

February 7, 2013

Small group of residents hear town budget details

Londonderry may add one more school resource officer

By Julie Huss

---- — LONDONDERRY — Adding a second school resource officer was the focus of the town deliberative session Monday night.

Less than 1 percent of the town;s 15,941 registered voters turned out for the two-and-a-half-hour session at Londonderry High School. They didn’t amend any warrant articles, but they did discuss them.

Residents lined up to register their positions on adding another school resource officer at a cost of $101,000.

It was one of 14 articles discussed. All articles were moved to the March ballot.

Voters heard details about the proposed $27.5 million operating budget and articles including a $500,000 article for a road maintenance fund and $20,000 for a zoning ordinance audit.

The bulk of the two-hour meeting centered around the school resource officer.

School Board member Nancy Hendricks supported the article.

“I’m glad to see a school resource officer on the warrant this year,” she said. “I certainly intend to support it. They see things parents may not see and create a bond with students that is very important.”

The district has one school resource officer now.

School superintendent Nate Greenberg said police have had a presence in Londonderry schools for more than 20 years.

They do more than just patrol the halls.

“There are custodial, truancy, and drug and alcohol issues,” he said. “It’s a program that has been in place and is very supportive of the schools and the kids.”

Other articles moving to the March ballot include a $2.6 million article for a sewer fund balance. The money would be raised through user fees.

Voters are being asked to put money aside for a number of future needs. One article calls for $400,000 to be put in a capital reserve fund to replace ambulances, highway trucks and fire vehicles. Another article would take $100,000 from the town’s fund balance to establish a capital reserve fund for the cable department.

A citizens petition resulted in an article asking taxpayers to spend $227,000 to pave a one-mile portion of the town’s rail trail system.