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Voters approve Chariho budget

April 6, 2011

WOOD RIVER JCT. -- Taxpayers in the Chariho Regional School District's three towns of Charlestown, Richmond, and Hopkinton approved the proposed $54.31 million budget on a vote of 494-288.

The budget passed in each of the three towns, especially in Charlestown where the vote was 186-37. Richmond voters approved it by a vote of 161-108 while the spending plan just barely received approval on a vote of 147-143.

The voter-approved budget for fiscal year 2011-12 represents a 4.1 percent increase in spending. But overall it's actually about a 3.3 percent increase over the current year's budget of $52.62 million when capital expenditures and debt service for the Campus 2010 project are factored in.

With this budget, two of the member towns, Charlestown and Richmond, see increases in their contributions to Chariho. Charlestown's contribution has increased by 2.2 percent from $14.07 million to $14.38 million while Richmond's has jumped by 4.6 percent from $17.30 million to $18.09 million. Hopkinton, though, sees a 0.3 percent decrease from $18.09 million to $18.04 million.

Member town contributions are based on student enrollment.

Preliminary state aid to education numbers would greatly change those amounts, though they are not yet finalized.

According to the projected aid amounts, Charlestown will contribute $12.68 million, or $23,942 more; Richmond will contribute $12.47 million, or $253,191 more; and Hopkinton will contribute $12.30 million, or $709,127 less.

Those amounts reflect preliminary calculations as called for in the new funding formula, which calls for decreased state aid to the district over the next 10 years.

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