Ti revises proposed school budget

TICONDEROGA - The Ticonderoga Central School board of education has cut more than a quarter-million dollars from the proposed 2010-11 budget rejected by voters last month.

The revised spending plan will go back to voters Tuesday, June 15, noon to 8 p.m. at the Hague Community Center and at Ticonderoga High School.

If the budget is again rejected, law requires the district to go directly to a contingency budget, a level set by the state that limits spending.

The proposal is virtually a contingency budget and calls for a 4.77 percent increase in the tax levy.

Spending in the revised budget is down 0.2 percent from current levels. The increase in the revised plan is attributed to the on-going $23.8 million building and renovation project approved by voters in 2007.

"The district is very concerned about the impact a contingency budget would have on the community," Superintendent John McDonald said. "Groups would have to pay to use school facilities under a contingency budget - Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, dance recitals, the Fourth of July Committee and many others use school facilities. A lot of community groups depend on the use of school facilities for the success of their program.

"We also want to respect the results of the vote," he added. "People want less spending."

A proposed $18.3 million spending plan was defeated by a 521-421 count May 18.

The revised budget plan totals $18,105,991, down $279,081 from the initial proposal.

The amount to be raised by taxes in the revised budget is $9,581,358, down from $9,740,039 in the rejected spending plan.

McDonald noted the help of Ti teachers in cutting the spending plan.

In the original proposal teachers agreed to switch health insurance programs, which will save the district $150,000 a year.

In the revised budget teachers also agreed to give up 0.55 percent of a scheduled pay increase that will save the district $31,081 and agreed to $25,000 in cuts to supplies, which they will cover through out-of-pocket expense. Teachers also agreed to freeze coaching and adviser pay, saving $19,000.

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