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Saranac Lake Central cuts positions to balance budget

Tax levy increase stays within state limit

Saranac Lake High School

Saranac Lake High School Photo by Andy Flynn.

— Members of the Saranac Lake Central School Board of Education adopted their proposed 2012-13 spending plan Aug. 17, in part by eliminating several teaching positions through attrition in order to stay under the state tax cap.

After a slide show presentation about the budget by Assistant Superintendent for Business Dan Bower, board members had time for questions. And school Superintendent Gerald Goldman was straightforward about the challenges they faced to stay within the tax levy increase allowed by New York state.

“You can see the numbers up there,” Goldman said. “We are caught in an unrelenting barrage of bad news here when it comes to revenue ... we’re shrinking.”

Expenses for 2012-13 would be $28,394,257, and revenue is expected at $26,897,423. That’s a budget gap of $1,496,834.

With a proposed tax levy increase of $389,834 or 2.13 percent, the district barely stayed within the maximum allowable tax levy increase of $392,377 or 2.14 percent. The current tax levy is $18,295,387, and the proposed tax levy is $18,685,221.

The district will get $7,287,036 in state aid next year, down $322,079 or 4.23 percent from 2011-12. The board will use $1 million of its fund balance and get $315,000 in “other revenue.”

Savings

There are a number of ways the district plans to save $1.107 million to help close the $1.49 million budget gap, including:

•reduced health insurance costs and budgeted contributions ($363,000);

•not replacing a music teacher who is leaving ($50,000);

•not replacing an elementary school art teacher who is leaving ($50,000);

•not replacing a foreign language teacher who is leaving ($60,000);

•not replacing a high school science teacher who is leaving ($40,000);

•not replacing an elementary school teacher who is leaving ($50,000);

•not replacing a home and careers teacher who is leaving ($50,000)

•not replacing three teacher assistants who are leaving ($54,000);

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