Cutler School

Cutler Elementary School in West Swanzey, shown in this file photo, would be closed as part of a school consolidation plan.

After a budget process that grew contentious between the school board and budget committee, voters in the Monadnock Regional School District will head to the polls Tuesday for the final say on the 2021-22 budget, a pair of renovation-related warrant articles and a trio of staff contracts.

Budget proposal: District residents will be voting on the budget committee’s proposed $32,452,289 operating budget. That figure is $855,000, or 2.6 percent, less than the school board’s initial proposal, and 2.4 percent lower than the current year’s $33,251,463 operating budget. If Monadnock voters reject the budget proposal, a $33,564,758 default budget will take effect.

Hot topics: The school board and budget committee are split on an $840,000 project that would replace unit air ventilators in about 25 rooms total between Gilsum STEAM Academy and Monadnock Regional Middle/High School in Swanzey Center. The school board recommends the warrant article that would fund the project, while the budget committee voted against doing the same. The ventilation systems were installed in the 1980s, according to Janel Morin, the district’s business administrator. The ventilators work fine for now, but “they’re getting towards the end of their working life,” Morin said in January, and the district wants to replace them before they break down.

The two groups do agree in their recommendation to raise $299,999 for engineering and design work on a plan to consolidate some of the district’s elementary schools. That plan, which the school board approved in October, would combine Swanzey’s two elementary schools into one and also renovate schools in Fitzwilliam, Gilsum and Troy. Monadnock voters rejected a different consolidation plan at the polls last year.

Other warrant articles: Voters will be asked whether to support a trio of proposed staff contracts, already negotiated by the administration and union representatives:

A one-year collective bargaining agreement with the Monadnock District Education Association, which represents teachers, guidance counselors, librarians and nurses. The contract would include wage and benefit increases estimated at $315,447, a 2.3 percent increase over the current year.

A two-year collective bargaining agreement with the Monadnock Educational Support Staff Association, which represents administrative assistants, paraprofessionals, custodians and maintenance workers. The contract would include wage and benefit increases estimated at $91,431 for 2021-22 and a two-year estimated total increase of $186,797.

A three-year collective bargaining agreement with the Specialists of the Monadnock District, which represents psychologists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists. The contract would include wage and benefit increases estimated at $33,269 for 2021-22 and a three-year estimated total increase of $76,692.

Contested races: None

Voting: Monadnock district residents vote on the school district warrant at the polls in their own towns. Polls will be open at these locations:

Fitzwilliam Town Hall from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Gilsum Community Center from 1 to 7 p.m.

The Richmond Veterans Hall from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Roxbury Meeting House from 5 to 7 p.m.

Monadnock Regional Middle/High School in Swanzey Center from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Samuel E. Paul Community Center in Troy from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or jrooney@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.