School boards take steps to get a budget

The Schoharie Central School District Board of Education adopted a revised $19,576,176 budget propos

The Schoharie Central School District Board of Education adopted a revised $19,576,176 budget proposal this week to send back to district voters on June 17.

The spending plan would bring the increase in the total tax levy to 2.68 percent over the current budget, school board President F. Christian Spies said Thursday.

Based on administration estimates, that would equate to a $30 increase per $100,000 of assessed property value in the total tax levy. Actual tax rates in the eight towns encompassed by the district would vary depending on equalization rates.

Voters rejected a proposed $19.71 million budget on May 20 that would have increased the total amount to be raised from taxes by about 4.4 percent. The defeat, by 441 to 407 votes, was the only rejection among the six districts in Schoharie County.

The revised budget reflects an increase in spending of 4.85 percent from the current 2007-08 budget ending June 30.

Trimming $133,353 from the earlier budget proposal includes not filling a vacancy to be created by the retirement of one elementary teacher position. That marked a $65,853 savings, Spies said.

Three other cuts worked out during Tuesday and Wednesday budget-revision sessions included a $25,000 savings by using leftover funds from a previous school roofing project to buy gym lockers instead of from 2008-09 budget funds.

The board also decided to defer $22,500 in planned parking lot surface maintenance and to delay by one year a $20,000 subsidy to pay off part of the longstanding deficit of the school lunch program.

Except for not replacing a teacher, the revised budget will likely not have a noticeable impact on school programs, according to Spies.

“Had we replaced the teacher, the position would have been used effectively in the elementary system,” he said. Cutting the slot through a retirement rather than axing a continuing teacher, he said, “is the preferred way to do it.”

All other propositions on the May 20 ballot, including bus purchases, establishing a reserve fund and raising taxing authorization for the Schoharie Free Library, were approved, so the revised school budget will be the only item before voters June 17.

A public hearing on the revised budget is set for 7 p.m. June 10 in the Schoharie High School cafeteria.

If voters again reject the budget, the board would be forced by state law to adopt a contingency budget by trimming $365,811, according to district figures.

A total of $379,279 in total reductions from the originally proposed budget have been identified as possible targets, including some that would affect programs, Spies said.

If that amount is cut, the district projects a tax levy 0.38 percent less than the 2007-08 total tax levy.


In the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District, affidavit ballots opened this week narrowed the budget ballot result to two votes — 501 to 499.

Following the final count, the school board voted Wednesday night to adopt a contingency budget rather than revise the $24.7 million proposal and hold a new election. The contingency budget is $52,000 less than the defeated version and drops the tax levy increase from 6.9 percent to 6.3 percent for the school year starting July 1.

Of the 39 affidavit ballots filed with the district, 26 were certified as valid by the board of elections. Of those, 17 voted to approve the budget proposal and 9 voted against it. The affidavit ballots shrunk what had been a 10-vote margin.


The Gloversville Board of Education voted Tuesday to adopt a contingency budget rather than resubmit a new budget to voters. The Gloversville contingency budget is $4,000 less than the $50.7 million defeated edition and preserves a 6.9 percent tax levy increase.


In Northville, the only other Fulton County district to defeat a budget, Superintendent Kathy Dougherty said the board did not reach a decision Tuesday on whether to adopt a contingency budget or resubmit a revised budget to the voters.

The board may make that decision at a special meeting at 4 p.m. June 3.

Dougherty said the board is proceeding carefully as it considers the implications of a contingency budget.

The Northville board has considered a contingency proposal $6,000 less than the defeated proposal. It would cut the tax levy increase from 3.8 percent to about 3.6 percent. Northville’s $9.32 million proposal was rejected 361 to 165.

Categories: Schenectady County

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