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2024 Annual & Special Town Meeting


The May 2024 Annual & Special Town Meetings concluded on Monday, May 13. Among the over 50 articles voted on by Town Meeting Members were several that impact Needham Schools. Other articles concerned recreation options in Needham which may be of particular interest to children & families. A full list of warrant articles can be found on the Needham town website.

 


ANNUAL TOWN MEETING ARTICLES:


Article 13: Appropriate the FY2025 Operating Budget (Approved)

The School Operating budget of $97,517,926 was approved within the town's operating budget. This represents a 5.8% increase over the previous year's budget and includes an increase of 8.95 Full Time Equivalents (FTE). This budget request will provide the resources to maintain the current level of service to Needham students, fund existing contractual obligations, provide funds to meet increasing special education needs and enrollment growth, and implement the District’s Portrait of a Needham Graduate Five-Year Strategic Plan. The detailed budget report is available on the NPS website.


The FY2025 Operating Budget also now includes a separate budget line of $1,904,283 for the new consolidated Municipal Information Technology Department that will fall under the direction of the Needham Public Schools.


 

Article 12: Appropriate for Information Technology Consolidation (Approved)

Town Meeting voted to appropriate $593,643 to consolidate Town and School Information Technology functions. During the pandemic the Town had trouble fully staffing its Technology department, and the School Department helped the Town maintain these services. Last year, the Town hired a consultant to review how Needham’s Information Technology services should be organized. After review, this consultant recommended that the Town and School Technology Departments be unified under the direction of the School Department, to provide greater cohesion, efficiency, collaboration, strategic planning, and policy implementation, as well as increased investment in infrastructure and cybersecurity. This additional appropriation was to fund costs that were not already incorporated into the FY2025 Operating Budget.


 

Article 26: Appropriate for Pollard Middle School Feasibility Study/MSBA (Approved)

This article approved $2,750,000 for a feasibility study of the Pollard Middle School renovation project. This funding will cover the costs of a project manager, designer, initial geotechnical analysis, site survey, traffic study, and evaluation of the wetlands, hazardous materials, and other potential considerations. This is a requirement for participation in the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) process. If the MSBA agrees to partner with Needham on this project, this could lead to a potential reimbursement of 20-25% of the total project costs.


 

Article 23: Appropriate for DeFazio Complex Fencing (Approved)

This article appropriated $417,000 to fund the removal and replacement of fencing around and within the DeFazio Athletic complex, including perimeter fencing, backstops and player bench areas that have become worn out after heavy use. This will not include the fencing around the new softball field which was already replaced, or the Tot Lot area which is still being studied for redesign.


 

Article 27: Appropriate for Athletic Facility Improvements - Claxton Field (Approved)

This article appropriated $3,600,000 for the Claxton Field renovation project to proceed with rehabilitation of the field as has been previously studied. This will provide field improvements to playing surfaces as well as other improvements including lighting, irrigation, a new geotextile fabric system to cap the old town dump materials, an accessible looped pathway for passive recreation, and other features.


  

Article 21: Appropriate for High School Tennis Courts (Withdrawn)

This article was withdrawn prior to Town Meeting so no vote was taken.



 

SPECIAL TOWN MEETING ARTICLES:


Article 5: Appropriate for Auditorium Upgrades and Improvements (Approved)

This article appropriated $344,558 for School Auditorium Upgrades and improvements at Newman, Pollard, and the High School.



Watch 2024 Town Meeting:

 

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