BERLIN — The city council Monday night approved the cost items for new two year contracts with unions representing school support staff and custodians bus drivers.

Local 1444, representing custodians and bus drivers, will receive a 3 percent wage increase in fiscal 2021 and no increase in fiscal 2022. A change in health insurance will result in a net savings to the school district over the two years of $57,654. The council unanimiouly approved the cost items

The Berlin Education Support Staff local will receive a 2.5 percent wage increase in fiscal year 2021 and a 2 percent increase in fiscal 2022. Savings in health insurance costs will offset most of the salary increase. The two year cost to the city will be $4,705. The council split with Councilors Mike Rozek, Mark Eastman, and Russ Otis voting in opposition.

The city will go with a new assessing firm for the upcoming revaluation update, due to start this summer. Berlin received two proposals for the 13-month contract. Its current assessing firm, KRT of Haverhill, Mass., submitted a proposal of $105,000. Corcoran Consulting Associates of Wolfeboro submitted a bid of $58,000. City Manager James Wheeler and Board of Assessors Chair Robert Goddard said they were surprised at the difference in price and did due diligence. Wheeler said they spoke to other communities that have hired Corcoran and heard nothing but good reviews. Wheeler said the firm will field review every property. The council approved hiring Corcoran, subject to approval of the N.H. Department of Revenue Administration.

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