Caz school board passes proposed budget

The Cazenovia school board passed a proposed budget April 20 that will result in no increase in the tax levy on the district.

"If the federal stimulus didn't come through, we would have seen significant cuts," Assistant Superintendent Bill Furlong said.

Instead of a projected $700,000 decrease in state aid, the district will receive $271,000 more next year than this current fiscal year.

Keeping the tax levy consistent required a reduction of non-mandated programs, including some after school programs, adult education and summer school classes for higher grade levels. Budgets were also cut in athletics, buildings and grounds and transportation. Two teacher positions and three teacher assistant positions were cut due to decreased enrollment.

The budget accounts for health insurance increases of 5.5 percent, as well as increased retirement costs inflated by the recent drop in the stock market.

The proposed budget totals $25,681,681, a 2.49 percent increase from last year's budget. The budget vote will be at the high school small gym May 19.

School officials are still concerned about state funding after stimulus money runs out in two years.

"We're going to be extremely conservative in how we handle our finances in the next two years," Furlong said.

Also on the May 19 ballot will be the purchase of four school buses at an estimated cost not to exceed $364,053 -- 70 percent of that purchase and interest will be covered by the state. The Cazenovia Public Library's proposed budget of $338,523 and the New Woodstock Free Library's proposed budget of $135,156 is also on the ballot as one $473,679 item.

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