Raymond School Board News

School Board Hears of Changes to Firearms Regulations
By Penny Williams   5-22-17

Raymond Police Chief David Salois spoke with the School Board on Wednesday evening, March 17 about the implications of recent changes to firearms regulations.

Salois said a major change to the statute impacts the possession of firearms in a school zone. Federal regulations make it unlawful to have a firearm within a school zone but there are exceptions. A school zone in New Hampshire is defined as a 1,000-foot radius around a school.

In New Hampshire, people have always been able to carry an exposed firearm, but to carry a concealed weapon required a New Hampshire license that could be procured through one's local police department. That changed when Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed a law this year making it legal for individuals in New Hampshire to carry concealed weapons without a license. Now there is no state law that prohibits a person from carrying a firearm in a school zone, only a federal regulation. That federal regulation remains in effect.

Salois said there are exceptions to the federal regulation prohibiting individuals from having a weapon within a school zone. One is if an individual is on private property that falls within the school zone. Another exception is if the individual is a state licensed firearm carrier of a concealed weapon. A third exception is if the person is a law enforcement officer or if the individual carrying a weapon has been authorized by the school administration to do so. Other exceptions occur if an individual's weapon is not loaded and the firearm and ammunition are locked in a box, and if the individual carrying an unloaded weapon is crossing the school zone in order to reach a hunting area.

If a school notified a local officer that someone was in the school zone with a firearm, the officer could speak to the individual in question, but for prosecution, the individual would have to be reported to a federal authority. The federal penalty for violating this regulation is a $5,000 fine and five years in jail.

Salois reviewed who can't carry a firearm according to federal authorities. The list includes a person convicted of a crime resulting in imprisonment exceeding one year; a fugitive from justice; a person who is an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance; a person who is diagnosed with a mental defect; a person who received a dishonorable discharge from the military; a person who is connected to a domestic violence situation; and someone who has renounced his or her U.S. citizenship.

He pointed out that the federal law requires a state license for an individual to carry a firearm in a school zone. Even though the State of New Hampshire no longer requires individuals to obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon, the state continues to issue firearm licenses. But, he reminded the board, federal law requires a license to carry a firearm in a school zone and the meeting of specific criteria, such as being authorized to have a weapon.

In other business at the May 17 meeting:

•  A public hearing was held on the following expenditures of funds: Up to $12,000 from the Food Service Equipment Capital Reserve Fund to replace the walk-in freezer box at Raymond High School; $44,000 from the Textbook Capital Reserve Fund to purchase algebra and science books for Iber Holmes Gove Middle School and Raymond High; and $165,000 from the Equipment, Facilities Maintenance and Replacement Capital Reserve Fund to install safety cameras and upgrade two bathrooms at Lamprey River Elementary School, upgrade air conditioners in three office areas at Raymond High, and pave and make the kitchen area at the high school ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.

Resident Rani Merryman asked the board to consider not spending the money on the cameras. She said that as the townspeople haven't decided what they want to do with the elementary school, it didn't make sense to spend money on it until such time as the future of the school is known.

Voters turned down an expansion of the school in March.

The board took action on the items separately. They first dealt with paving at Raymond High, noting two bids came in and they had selected the low bidder at $13,365 for the project, which was budgeted at $14,000. This was approved.

Concerning the cameras, the plan is to replace existing cameras with digital cameras, for a total of 41 digital cameras, including 17 new ones. The amount budgeted is $75,000 and the low bidder came in at $65,583. In reference to Merryman's comments, it was pointed out that the cameras and server would be able to be moved and the only loss would involve the wiring and the labor associated with it, which was the least expensive portion of the project. It is projected that 99 percent of the camera/server infrastructure would be able to be moved. The purchase was approved.

Regarding the textbooks, algebra books for grades 8 and 9 were budgeted at $10,000 but the bid came in at $13,736.30. The science books for grades 5 and 6 were budgeted at $24,000 but the bid came in at $29,293.55. This meant these items were $9,000 more than budgeted, which leaves less than $15,000 in the textbook account.

Board chair John Harmon noted, "We are spending this fund faster than we are getting it." However, the board approved the purchases.

The walk-in freezer box at the high school was budgeted at $10,000 and two bids came in, one for $10,913 and a second for $15,000. The low bidder was chosen and the contractor said if the roof of the box can be saved, this might come in under budget. The board approved the $10,913 bid to be taken from the Capital Reserve Fund for Food Service.

• The board heard a review of what Energy Efficiency Investment Company can offer a school district. Representative Mike Davey said his company provides a variety of services to almost all of the big districts across the state. Its purpose is to improve energy efficiency and to look at renewable energy projects. The idea, Davey said, is to reduce energy costs for the school district. The company works with the district on whatever services the district wants to implement, studying the district's energy use and coming up with strategies to reduce energy costs in a tax neutral way so the savings over time will pay for the upgrades

• The school board surplus estimate at this point in time is $599,058 but it was pointed out that it will likely be a little more than $600,000. The reason being that several positions were not filled so the salary and benefit line is under budget and the unfilled positions impacts the health insurance cost as well.

As the audit is free, the board voted to approve Davey's company doing the energy audit.












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Raymond School Board Members

John H. Harmon

Joe Saulnier

Janice Arsenault

Michelle Couture

Jaclyn Sirrine

To email the entire Board:

Emails sent to more than one Board Member may be subject to disclosure under the NH Right to Know laws.

Raymond SCHOOL DISTRICT website
for more information.

Raymond High School
for RHS news & information.

Iber Holmes Gove Middle School
for IHGMS news & information.

Lamprey River Elementary School News
for LRES news & information.

Raymond School District
   Job Postings.

RHS Alumni Association News
for Alumni Assoc information

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