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Crown Point budget proposal maintains programs

Spending plan similar to current budget

Difficult choices the past five years are now paying dividends for the Crown Point Central School District. The proposed 2013-14 Crown Point budget maintains all existing programs and staff. There are no cuts.

Difficult choices the past five years are now paying dividends for the Crown Point Central School District. The proposed 2013-14 Crown Point budget maintains all existing programs and staff. There are no cuts. Photo by Nancy Frasier.

— Difficult choices the past five years are now paying dividends for the Crown Point Central School District.

“It’s been a challenging five years, but now we’re well-positioned for the future,” Crown Point Superintendent Shari Brannock said. “Our teachers were the very first to take a pay freeze back in 2009-10. They were the first to switch to Plan B (a less expensive health insurance). We eliminated jobs. We offered retirement incentives. We cut everywhere we could.”

No more.

The proposed 2013-14 Crown Point budget maintains all existing programs and staff. There are no cuts.

The proposed spending plan totals $6,271,828. That’s a $136,140 increase — 2.22 percent — from the present budget of $6,135,688.

The proposed tax levy for 2013-14 is $1,544,000. That’s a $28,645 increase — 1.89 percent — from the current $1,515,355 raised by taxes. It meets the state-mandated tax cap, which is 5.89 percent for Crown Point.

Voters will determine the fate of the proposed budget Tuesday, May 21. Voting will be in the school lobby noon to 1:30 p.m. and in the school cafeteria 1:30 to 8 p.m.

“The budget is very similar to last year,” Brannock said. “It maintains all our staff, programs, electives, sports and extracurricular activities.

“The proper balance of a stable environment and culture for our staff and students, with realistic requests for taxpayer support, is very important,” she said.

Crown Point Central School has 274 students kindergarten through 12th grade.

Brannock pointed out the proposed budget is less than the 2009-10 spending plan. Much of the budget reduction in recent years is a result of staff retirements, which reduced both payroll and pension contributions.

Crown Point receives 64.3 percent of its budget from the state. There’s an additional $147,091 in state aid for 2013-14, but that’s still less than the 2009-10 academic year, Brannock said. At that time state aid comprised 73 percent of the budget.

The proposed budget includes 2-3 percent pay increases for all school employees.

“Things are going well,” Brannock said. “Our programs are solid and high-quality. We’re able to do the things we need for our children. We’re on solid ground; we’re stable financially — although that always depends on the state.

“It hasn’t been easy the past five years,” she added. “We’ve made a lot of difficult decisions to get to this point.”

Voters will also elect three people to the board of education May 21. Incumbents Michael “Mitch” St. Pierre, Kathy Debrobander and Julianne Budwick are running unopposed.

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