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What you need to know for 03/23/2017

Furloughs help reduce tax increase in Ballston Spa

Furloughs help reduce tax increase in Ballston Spa

The average homeowner in the Ballston Spa Central School District will see a $63 increase in taxes u

The average homeowner in the Ballston Spa Central School District will see a $63 increase in taxes under a proposed budget approved by the Board of Education Wednesday night that authorizes furlough days for staff.

School Superintendent Joseph Dragone said that at $70.4 million, spending is up less than one-half of a percent from the current year’s budget.

The tax levy will be up just less than 2 percent.

According to school figures, the average assessment on a home in the school district is $221,000.

“These are conservative estimates,” Dragone said. “The tax rate will be available at the May 6 budget hearing.”

The budget cuts 27.4 positions, some through attrition and other through reduction of hours.

Nearly 500 employees also agreed to take some time off without pay in an effort to reduce the budget.

The unpaid furlough days next year will include teachers, administrators and some staffers taking one to three days without pay.

Teachers will give up a day when students aren’t in school, and the district’s year-round employees will take two or three furlough days at times when school isn’t in session, Dragone said.

The budget vote will be held May 19 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Residents of Milton, Ballston and Charlton cast their ballots at Ballston Spa High School, and Malta residents vote at Malta Town Hall. Prior to election day, numerous public forums on the budget will be held throughout the district.

In addition to the budget, voters will be asked to approve $1.5 million in building improvements and $721,000 for school buses and other vehicles.

Also on election day, voters will be selecting four school board members from seven candidates. The top three candidates in the election will serve for a three-year term starting in July 2009. The fourth candidate will complete the remainder of a term recently vacated, which is for one year.

Daniel Cramer is running to hold onto the seat he was appointed to last month after the resignation of Pat Leanza. Incumbents Kevin Schaefer, Keith Stewart and Nancy Fodera also hope to retain their seats. Other candidates are Karen Parlapiano, Gary Guilfoyle and Shawn Raymond.

A “Meet the Candidates Night” is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 5 in the Ballston Spa High School library.

Also Wednesday night, Dragone announced that Michael Selkis will become principal of the middle school on July 1, replacing Helen Stuetzel, who will retire.

Selkis is currently the Wood Road Elementary School principal, and he is enrolled in the doctoral program at Teacher’s College, Columbia University in educational administration.

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