By Amanda Burke
ASHBURNHAM — The School Committee approved a $29,739,424 budget Tuesday, setting in motion a series of events that could end with another townwide Proposition 2 1/2 override vote in Ashburnham.
“We still have a prioritized budget, we still have all those elements that Gary and Julie presented based on the strategic plan,” said School Committee Chair David Christianson Jr.
The budget was approved after $250,000 in health insurance and heating savings was identified by Superintendent Gary Mazzola and Business Administrator Julie Surprenant.
School officials also came out with a revised estimate for how much money the district expects to receive from the state in fiscal 2018, up $73,629 from the amount that was originally budgeted, Mazzola said.
Combined, those sources of income and savings would reduce the burden on taxpayers in Ashburnham and Westminster by $323,630.
Another Proposition 2 1/2 override vote must be held in Ashburnham to finalize the budget approved by the School Committee Tuesday.
The Ashburnham Board of Selectmen will vote Wednesday on scheduling a Special Town Meeting, where residents would consider a single warrant item: Whether or not they support holding another town-wide ballot vote on a Proposition 2 1/2 override.
If the answer is yes, the new override amount put to voters would be $475,656, about $150,000 less than the amount Ashburnham voters rejected last Tuesday.
Westminster, which passed the override last Tuesday, does not need to hold a Special Town Meeting or schedule another Proposition 2 1/2 vote, school officials said.
Seven members of the Ashburnham Westminster Regional School District School Committee were present at the Tuesday meeting. The committee needed a super-majority of seven members to certify the prioritized budget, which it won by unanimous vote.