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Ticonderoga area school budgets approved by voters

Ticonderoga, Schroon Lake, Moriah, Crown Point, Putnam plans pass

Residents approved area school district budgets for 2012-13 during voting May 15. All the area budget plans meet the new state tax cap.

Residents approved area school district budgets for 2012-13 during voting May 15. All the area budget plans meet the new state tax cap. Photo by Nancy Frasier.

— Residents approved area school district budgets for 2012-13 during voting May 15. All the area budget plans meet the new state tax cap.

Ticonderoga

Ticonderoga voters approved the district’s 2012-13 budget, 562-416.

The 2012-13 Ti budget totals $17,849,823. That’s $1,148,124 — 6 percent — less than the present budget of $18,997,947.

The tax levy for 2012-13 is $10,316,732. That’s $354,774 —3.5 percent — more than the current tax levy of $9,961,958.

The 3.5 percent tax increase is well below the state tax cap for Ticonderoga, which is 9 percent.

Ticonderoga started the 2012-13 budget process with a deficit because of the loss of nearly $1.7 million in “one shot” funding that was used in the current spending plan. Gone are $700,000 in state Excel aid, $310,000 in employee concessions, $300,000 in local fund balance, $180,000 in federal stimulus money and $87,000 from the employee retirement fund.

Compounding that problem is the fact Ticonderoga now receives $1 million less in state aid that in it three years ago.

Helping Ti close its deficit and meet the tax cap are concessions by Ticonderoga teachers, administrators and staff. A salary freeze will save the district $728,000.

It’s the third consecutive year district employees have made concessions, Superintendent John McDonald pointed out. Those concessions total about $1.2 million. McDonald said Ticonderoga is one of just four of the state’s 700 districts to have employee concessions three straight years.

The budget also cuts several positions, totalling $132,000. McDonald noted the district has eliminated 20 jobs — 10 percent of its workforce — in the past three years. Ti has 170 employees.

Ticonderoga also plans on moving students from Champlain Valley Educational Services back to the local school. That will save the district about $300,000.

Other major reductions in spending include $213,000 in transportation, $115,000 in equipment, $54,500 in supplies and $31,000 in summer school. Virtually every line item in the budget has been reduced.

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