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ELCS approves budget

Members of the Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School Board of Education meet with ELCS administration during a recent budget workshop.

Members of the Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School Board of Education meet with ELCS administration during a recent budget workshop. Photo by Tim Follos.

— The Elizabethtown Lewis School board unanimously voted to adopt the 2012-2013 budget, totaling $7,421,195, at its April 17 meeting.

The budget represents an $86,614 increase to the tax levy, from $3,253,746 in the 2011-12 budget to a proposed $3,340,360 in 2012-13, a 2.66-percent hike.

Board President Brett Sicola commended the work of the other board members and said the district has a good team of people and an overall good process to map through the unjustly named 2 percent tax cap to arrive at a balanced budget.

“I think this budget season went overall pretty well for us,” Sicola said. “We’ve been able to arrive at what we all believe to be a good, fair budget that satisfies all the needs of the community and the district.”

Business Manager/District Treasurer Cindy Moody said the district has worked very hard to maintain a balanced budget to deliver the most impact to students.

“We’re very good at scrutinizing the budget and making sure we keep an eye on it,” Moody said.

The largest share of the budget increase comes from the from a $74,466 in salaries and a decrease in state aid by $49,521.

Superintendent Gail Else said the school did not receive a large sum of money from the state because the school is structurally in good shape unlike many schools across the state that are in critical need.

“We’re not a school in need of improvement, we’re not any of the schools in the worst case scenario in the whole state, and those are the ones that get first dibs,” Else said.

The spending plan increased $76,389 from a $7,344,806 price tag in 2011-12 to the $7,421,195 proposed 2012-12 figure, an increase of 1.04-percent.

District voters will cast their vote for the budget on May 15. If the budget is turned down, the district will need to restrategize and rebuild a second budget. If voters do not adopt the revised budget, the board would have no choice but to adopt a contingency budget with no tax levy increase.

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