Minerva Central approves budget under tax cap

— During their April 19 meeting, Minerva Central School Board members approved the 2012-2013 budget.

The total amount was $5,040,939, a 1.1 percent or $54,938 increase from last year’s budget.

The tax levy increase was 2.96 percent, which does not exceed the state maximum allowable increase.

The board and the administration have taken several steps in order to help the public understand the budget process. The school’s website homepage has a link that allows anyone to view the tax cap formula and relevant financial information. In addition, Superintendent Timothy Farrell included an article in the April edition of the school newsletter addressing the tax cap in detail in an effort dispel misconceptions and clarify how the formula works.

Before voting on the budget, Board President Mike Corey took a few moments to acknowledge all the hard work that administrators and fellow board members put into creating the budget. He noted the challenges that developing this budget presented while praising the conscientiousness and diligence of everyone involved in the process. The public vote on the school budget is scheduled for May 15.

The board approved putting three buses out to bid. Bus No. 30, Bus No. 31, and Bus No. 33 were no longer able to pass inspection. They also approved a request by the school to bond in order to purchase a new 59-seat bus not that would not exceed $104, 968.80 in cost.

During his report to the board, Farrell informed members that the plan to create a self-contained classroom for special education students was moving forward and would be in place this year. Starting off, the room will provide service to six students and have one teacher and one paraprofessional. He also noted that as early as this coming year, they may consider offering service to other districts on a tuition basis.

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