Rochester gets good news on state aid

Aug 4, 2020

ROCHESTER — After making adjustments to its budget to account for projected changes in state aid, Rochester received word that the state would keep its aid at the same levels as 2019 for two key categories. 

Town Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar said at an Aug. 3 Board of Selectmen meeting that the state funds for unrestricted general government aid (which can be distributed across town programs) and Chapter 70 funds, which fund public schools, would stay at the same levels. This means the town will get $451,000 to distribute to various programs, and $2,000,057 for its schools. 

In May, Szyndlar predicted the state aid would likely drop from 28% to 25%, and the Chapter 70 funding for the school will drop 2%, or about $40,000. The town made a number of adjustments to the school budget, Town Clerk budget, Highway Department and to instructors for the Council on Aging as a result. 

Selectman Woody Hartley said that the state announcement was “great news,” with one of the other selectmen calling it “wonderful.” 

Rochester tentatively planned a fall town meeting for Nov. 16, and would consider reallocating the funds that it saved through budget cuts at that meeting.