Pfifferling Tells Committee Public School Spending in Haverhill Appears on Track

Executive Assistant Beverly McGillicuddy, School Committee member Gail M. Sullivan, Superintendent Margaret Marotta and Assistant Superintendent Michael J. Pfifferling at a Haverhill School Committee meeting. (WHAV News file photograph.)

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Haverhill Public Schools finances are in fairly good shape this year, according to school Assistant Superintendent Michael J. Pfifferling.

Addressing the Haverhill School Committee last Thursday, Pfifferling said the current 2024 fiscal year budget looks like last year’s at this time.

“In reviewing this year’s budget versus last year’s budget, we are just about where we were last year as far as remaining unexpended funds at this time of the year. All salaries are currently encumbered. We do have a little bit of work to do on utilities still. I am working with our business office to encumber utilities,” he reported.

Pfifferling explained unencumbered funds refers to money that has not yet been earmarked for expenses.

“Last year at this time we had $8.5 million in money that had not been committed to an organization or a salary line yet and this year we have almost $8.3 million,” he said.

Asked whether increased expenses were taken into account in this year’s budget, Pfifferling responded that the big three costs—tuitions, transportation and utilities—have been included.

The assistant superintendent also reported on the status of two projects currently before the Massachusetts School Building Authority. The first concerned a new boiler for the Silver Hill School. That project received authorization from the state, bringing it one step closer to going out to bid.

Regarding a similar project for the William H. Moody preschool building, Pfifferling said a decision was made to ask for an extension.

“What we identified is that there is some work that needs to occur at the Moody School requiring ADA compliance, American’s with Disabilities Act compliance. So, we asked for an extension,” he explained.

Pfifferling said, after looking at items must need to be brought up to current ADA standards, it was determined the work could be done sooner and less expensively by using the school department’s own maintenance staff rather than hiring outside workers. He told the Committee Director of Facilities Stephen D. Dorrance estimates the necessary work can be accomplished for under $40,000.

He said the plan is to have all of the work done by Dec.1 and submitted to the MSBA by Dec. 28 allowing it to appear on their Feb. 28 agenda.

Members voted unanimously to support the requested extension with Committee member Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello absent.

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