Budget set for vote

With the vote just a week away, the Whitehall Board of Education gave its final pitch for the 2009-10 budget this week.

 

“Our goal in the face of recession and everything that has been going on with the state was to keep this at a zero percent increase,” school Superintendent James Watson said Monday. “I think that this is a budget that keeps the costs down while maintaining academic standards.”

“It was a little chaotic with the state of the economy and the governor’s budget,” said school business manager Jodi Bradshaw. “This was my first budget process with the school, and I was impressed with the Board of Education and the administration in how they worked to keep the costs down while keeping the academics.”

The budget, which was adopted by the school board at its March 23 meeting, calls for a freeze in revenues, keeping the total cost at $13,656,521. With a decrease of $55,000 in state aid, the school transferred and added $55,000 (up from $300,000 in 2008-09 to $355,000 in 2009-10) from its fund balance to also keep the amount to be raised by taxes level at $4,829,164.

In order to cut costs, the school made several cuts, including a reduction of 3.6 full-time teachers, eight teacher aides, the elimination of school safety officer, a decrease to the fuel and electrical budgets, suspending membership in the New York School Board Association, the elimination of the computer lab stipend, and the discontinuation of an annual contribution to the Whitehall Recreation Department.

At the Monday meeting, a resident asked what impact the elimination of the safety officer would have at the school.

“Who is going to assume the responsibilities of the safety officer once the position is gone?” asked Matthew Keough.

“We have been looking at the enrollment numbers and the duplication of services,” said Watson. “We have had Mr. Gregg Chappell here for the past two years and we feel that there are things that the safety officer does that Mr. Chappell (AIS dean of students) can do. The rest of the things we would be looking to incorporate between Mr. Chappell and Mrs. (Kelly) McHugh (high school principal).”

Major increases to the budget included an $8,250 increase to help pay for the school-based health program, which is run through Glens Falls Hospital, and an increase of $199,171 in employee benefits.

“That is always a big part of the equation,” said Bradshaw.

Along with the budget, there will also be three propositions for the school district residents to vote on, the first being the approval to spend $184,000 to purchase two new school buses.

“We expect next year that the price of buses will increase about $10,000 due to new emissions standards,” said Bradshaw.

The second proposition would allow the school board to transfer $525,000 to the Capital Project Reserve fund for future improvement to the infrastructure, which may include the renovation of the junior/senior high school gymnasium.

The third would allow the board to donate $15,000 to the Whitehall Free Library.

“While the first two will not have an impact on the tax rates or the budget, the library donation would change the rate by .31-percent,” said Watson.

Watson added that the school is still awaiting word as to how the Federal Stimulus Package may affect the school’s revenues.

“We have still not determined what that will mean to us,” said Watson. “Whatever we receive, we would be looking to use it for one-shot types of items that will not be a continuing expense on the budget because within two years, that money will most likely be going away.”

The 2009-10 school budget vote will be held on Tuesday, May 19, from noon until 9 p.m. in the large group instruction room at the junior/senior high school.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , ,

Excitement continues at the Washington County Fair

fair go round

By Dan King and Krystle S. Morey Holy smokes! The final days of the fair are here already! The Washington […]

Shoppers’ ‘points’ can help schools get tools

art sci dog fish cut up web

By Krystle S. Morey Granville residents can earn free supplies, musical instruments and playground equipment for their school simply by […]

Fundraiser for boy injured in ATV accident Saturday

Logan Pease

By Dan King Since 11-year-old Logan Pease was struck by a vehicle while riding his ATV in May, the community […]

Dirty water plagues users

The Orchard in North Granville

By Krystle S. Morey Several North Granville residents were plagued with dirty tap water last week after a local nursing […]

Washington County Fair Aug. 22-28

Jaxon Beebe, of Granville (2)

By Dan King and Krystle S. Morey Holy smokes! It’s fair time! With an attendance of 120,000 annually, the Washington […]

County seeks PILOT for new solar projects

county board of supervisors

By Dan King The Washington County Board of Supervisors wants Borrego Solar to pay some money for its solar project […]

Granville ends solar tax breaks

Solar front

By Krystle S. Morey Granville has opted out of the state’s solar tax exemption, which means solar installations being built […]

‘Go Horde’ signs paint town blue, gold

pond

By Krystle S. Morey Many may have noticed the dozens of “Go Horde” banners that have popped up around Granville […]

Whitehall man corresponds with former president

Former president Jimmy Carter (Credit: The Carter Center)

By Dan King It’s not every day you get a note from a former president. However, a Whitehall man received […]

Classifieds 08/17/16

Lakes Region Freepress – 08/12/16

Lakes Classifieds – 08/12/16