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Schroon Lake CS budget meets levy

Schroon Lake Central School District Superintendent Bonnie Finnerty.

Schroon Lake Central School District Superintendent Bonnie Finnerty. Photo by Nancy Frasier.

The proposed spending plan for the Schroon Lake Central School District will meet its threshold under the New York State tax levy cap.

According to the formula used to calculate how much school districts and municipalities can raise tax levies, the district was only given a 1.01 percent increase for the 2014-15 school year, which they were able to meet with a $7,563,002 spending plan, up 2.2 percent from 2013-14 ($7,400,244).

“We were in a good place this year and the process did not prove to be overly challenging,” Superintendent Bonnie Finnerty said. “The board has been very fiscally responsible and we were able to put together a budget with no reductions in services and staffing will remain the same.”

The budget will utilize $380,000 in fund balance (up $30,000 from the 2013-14 allotment) to keep the tax levy below the state threshold, which is up from $6,080,181 in 2013-14 to 6,163,211 for the 2014-15 school year.

“This is a very sound budget that enables our district to continue to offer the programs that we have been to our students,” Finnerty said, adding that all extra curricular programs had been kept along with an expansion of college credit course and career and technical programs.

Along with the budget, voters in the district will vote whether or not to allow the school to purchase a wheelchair-accessible, 22-passenger bus at a sum not to exceed $67,100. Finnerty said the bus was up for vote based on student need.

The district is also looking at a proposition to to reduce the terms of school board officers from five years to three years, starting with the 2015-16 board vote.

“We do not have one right now and based on looking at our student enrollment we are going to have a need and do need to purchase a bus to meet that need,” she said.

Voters will also vote on a budget resolution to move $300,000 of unallocated fund balance into a new reserve account dedicated for use as a repair reserve.

Finnerty said the district will again be conducting exit polling, which will include asking voters about the New York State Alternative Veterans Exemption.

“When this came before the board, they moved to table the discussion until they had the chance to poll the voters and see what direction they wanted the board to go,” Finnerty said.

Voting will be held Tuesday, May 20, noon to 8 p.m. at the school.

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