Andover Voters Approve Town and School Budgets at 2022 Meetings

Pursuit of SB2 nixed by straw vote

By Donna Duclos

On March 7 and 8, in slightly less than three hours, Andover residents voted to spend $8,397,508 for the School District and the Town budgets. With possibly 50 residents attending the School District annual meeting on March 7, the School Board’s budget of $6,333,987 passed on a voice vote. 

We did learn that the state average to educate a student is approximately $18,000 per year. Superintendent McLean estimates that, with the budget that passed, Andover’s per pupil rate will be about $14,000. 

The School Board also requested, and attendees agreed, to add an additional $40,000 to the School Building Maintenance Expendable Trust account for the potential repair or replacement of the school’s boiler.  There are plans to review energy efficient and sustainable replacements.

Town Meeting

In contrast to the School District meeting, there were probably over 100 Andover residents to review and vote on the Town budget at Town Meeting on March 8. After a brief discussion, $15,000 was added to the  Budget Committee’s operating budget to increase the salary for the new position of Highway Department Supervisor.

Several people expressed their frustration with the official state-required budget form that is part of the annual Town Report.  Many citizens would like more detail by line item. That information is always available at the Budget Committee’s public hearing that is held before the report is printed. 

All proposed warrant articles were adopted, and an additional $250,000 was passed to be added to the White Oak highway department project for building and site work.  Select Board member John Kinney revealed that because there was an error in how the public hearing was advertised for reviewing SB2 changes to how the annual Town Meeting would be held, there would not be an official vote.  

It was suggested that a “straw vote” could be taken to see if there is any interest in pursuing the issue.  With a resounding “No” voice vote, it was determined that SB2 won’t be on future town warrants for a while.