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Rainy day saves Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake from tax increase

Rainy day saves Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake from tax increase

A long-ago flood is helping next year’s budget for the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School Dist

A long-ago flood is helping next year’s budget for the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District.

In 2009, a flood destroyed part of the district offices. The district saved the insurance settlement for a future capital project, and in 2013 the voters approved that project.

Now, finally, the district is using $800,000 from the insurance settlement for the project. That means spending is going up — without taxpayers having to pay for it.

Saratoga County school budgets

The Daily Gazette has asked every Capital Region school district to provide its line-by-line budget for public review. Currently, full budgets are online for the following Saratoga County districts:

“It doesn’t impact taxes,” said spokeswoman Tara Mitchell.

Full budgets for most school districts are posted on The Daily Gazette website, dailygazette.com, in addition to budget summaries.

On Tuesday, residents will vote on the budgets, as well as school board candidates.

A look at the school district budgets in Saratoga County:

Ballston Spa

$86.3 million

Tax levy: increasing by 3.1 percent, $1.4 million

Spending increase: 2.6 percent, $2.1 million

Increased spending: raises, health insurance

Increased positions: none

Cuts: none

Other items on the ballot: establish a tax stabilization reserve fund to offset taxes in future years; purchase buses for $866,000; contribute $53,550 to Ballston Spa Public Library; contribute $28,000 to Ballston Area Recreation Commission to support operations that include Saturday school and summer programs.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake

$62.7 million

Tax levy: increasing by 2.68 percent, $982,277

Spending increase: 3.76 percent, $2.3 million

Increased spending: $800,000 from savings for the capital project that was approved in 2013, reorganized budget to add a special education program and seventh- and eighth-grade learning teams at O’Rourke Middle School at no additional cost

Increased positions: after reorganizing administrative positions, district will add a supervisor of science and technology

Cuts: reduced teacher assistants because of enrollment

Other items on the ballot: purchase five buses for $510,000, authorize an ex-officio student member of the Board of Education (can’t vote or attend confidential meetings).

Galway

$19.5 million

Tax levy: increasing by 1.84 percent, $179,500

Spending increase: 4.53 percent, $847,300

Increased spending: raises, purchase of K-6 language arts modules

Increased positions: part-time reading teacher going to full-time

Cuts: one aide, shared literacy coordinator

Other items on the ballot: purchase of six buses for $410,000, establish a savings account for a capital project.

Mechanicville

$23 million

Tax levy: increasing by 2.93 percent, $336,200

Spending increase: 4.23 percent, $937,000

Increased spending: reducing class sizes and sending more students to BOCES programs (special education, career and technical education and the rigorous New Visions program), send students to HVCC’s Early College High School in Malta

Cuts: none

Other items on the ballot: purchase two buses for $260,000.

Saratoga Springs

$117.1 million

Tax levy: increasing by 1.9 percent, $1.4 million

Spending increase: 0.58 percent, $672,800

Increased spending: training literacy coaches in all elementary schools, expanding Project Lead the Way to Geyser Road and Greenfield elementary schools, teacher training for advanced placement statistics, college level environmental science, and forensic science, adding Project Lift to Dorothy Nolan and Caroline Street elementary schools, more sections for 50 more children to attend Get Ready, a summer program for incoming kindergartners, funding for curriculum-writing projects, $100,000 in renovations to the bus garage

Increased positions: nursing staff and two English as a New Language teachers, two guidance counselors (for the middle and high schools)

Cuts/cost reductions: two teachers (retirements), bringing a special education class back from outside placement, replacing a BOCES teacher of English as a New Language with district staff

Other items on the ballot: purchase 11 buses for $1.1 million, establish a savings account for future capital projects.

Schuylerville

$33.7 million

Tax levy: increasing by 1.3 percent, $224,116

Spending increase: 2.79 percent, $914,531

Increased spending: new positions

Increased positions: a music teacher, a reading teacher, a social studies teacher

Cuts: none

Other items on the ballot: purchase four buses for $320,000, decide whether the Schuylerville Public Library can increase its annual budget appropriation to $250,000.

Shenendehowa

$162.9 million

Tax levy: increasing by 1.55 percent, $1.7 million

Spending increase: 1.72 percent, $2.7 million

Increased spending: adding teachers to reduce class sizes and offer more extra help, accelerated classes and special education

Increased positions: 18.45 new postions, including five elementary school teachers, 3.6 middle schools teachers, 9.8 high school teachers and paid coaches for varsity and modified volleyball

Cuts: none

Other items on the ballot: purchase 21 buses for $2.1 million.

South Glens Falls

$55 million

Tax levy: increasing by 2.41 percent, $653,200

Spending increase: 1.66 percent, $899,700

Increased spending: K-8 summer school (extra help and enrichment), summer “credit recovery” program for high school students, additional high school class sections, six modified sports teams that were eliminated in 2009

Increased positions: two social workers, part-time student conduct coordinator at the high school, a math coach and two literacy coaches that were previously funded by a grant

Cuts: none

Other items on the ballot: purchase five buses for $490,200.

Stillwater

$23.7 million

Tax levy: increasing by 3.5 percent, $316,100

Spending increase: 4.18 percent, $951,300

Increased spending: raises, health insurance, elementary school enrichment summer school, staff development for middle school teachers, tech support for iPads and chromebooks, middle school peer tutoring, college-level business courses at the high school

Increased positions: special education teaching assistant, literacy coach at the elementary school

Cuts: none

Other items on the ballot: establish a savings account to cover the cost of repairs to the HVAC systems and electrical and plumbing equipment at the elementary school, middle school and transportation building; spend $100,000 in the savings account.

Waterford-Halfmoon

$20.4 million

Tax levy: increasing by 1.93 percent, $200,600

Spending increase: 1.51 percent, $305,000

Increased spending: professional development, early college program and additional slots for vocational education at BOCES

Increased positions: making a home and careers teacher full-time

Cuts: none

Other items on the ballot: lease one handicap-equipped minibus for $99,000 a year for five years.

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