Moriah school budget approved

State aid boost helps district

A sign greets visitors to the Moriah Central School District.

A sign greets visitors to the Moriah Central School District. Photo by Nancy Frasier.

— There was little drama in preparation of the 2013-14 Moriah Central School District budget. After several years of struggling to meet the state-mandated tax cap, Moriah caught a break when the state increased aid to the district.

The result is a $15 million budget that was approved by voters, 238-50, during balloting May 21.

“Overall, I’m very happy with the budget and voter support,” William Larrow, Moriah school superintendent, said.

The 2013-14 Moriah budget totals $15,013,565. That’s $157,173 less — 1 percent — than the current spending plan of $15,170,738.

The amount to be raised by taxes in the proposed budget is $3,769,404. That’s $76,591 — 2.1 percent — more than the current tax levy of $3,692,813.

Moriah’s state aid for next academic year is up $318,520. Coupled with the retirement of a $400,000 building debt, the district started its budget planning more than $700,000 better off than it was a year ago.

Larrow pointed out that while state aid has increased from a year ago, it’s still $374,000 less than it was five years ago.

Larrow said the spending plan maintains all school programs. One special education position will be eliminated through attrition and employee health insurance costs will be down next year because of a new plan.

Teachers and support staff will receive 3 percent pay increases next year, while administrators will get a 2 percent pay hike.

Moriah Central School has 742 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Voters also approved a separate proposition to purchase a regular school bus and a small, handicap-accessible bus at a cost not to exceed $158,000. That vote was 238-50.

Elected to the board of education were Benjamin Winters with 235 votes and Charles French with 225. A third seat remains open since no candidate sought the position.

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