Skaneateles BOE approves $28.7M budget after trimming the fat

Friday morning was a productive one for the Skaneateles Board of Education as they reviewed, and approved, the 2010-11 budget.

The budget, which will be voted on by district residents May 18, is $28,765,843 and comes in at $465,393 less than the 2009-10 budget. The amount to be levied by taxpayers is $21,007,693 -- or a tax rate of 2.48 percent.

According to Assistant Superintendent Dale Bates, the budget had not changed much since the last time the board met. Additionally, despite there being little resolve in the county sales tax issue, he had not made changes to the revenue side of the budget.

Bates said he figured in $30,000 in sales tax revenue for 2011 because the district has to have some flexibility. With the current state of talks at the county, though, board member Michael Card said he would take the money out of the budget.

"If we get into July [and] August and it's not there, we will have to make adjustments," Bates said.

Despite there being no retirements, Bates said the administration has worked to make several reductions since the beginning of the budget process.

For instance, all conferences have been taken out of the budget, which accounts for approximately $30,000, the diesel fuel line item is being reduced by $40,000, all equipment purchases have been removed from the budget with the exception of computer equipment, after school gymnasium supervision has been cut with a savings of $12,000 and modified sports will see a reduction of teams for fall and winter sports, specifically soccer, basketball and volleyball.

Driver's education is being cut from the budget entirely and the drama department will be reducing the number of performances it puts on.

The driver's education car will be used for transporting students when needed. For instance, if there is a sporting event off campus that only a couple of students are competing in, the coach and students can use the car instead of one of the buses.

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