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F-M outlines $74.47M preliminary budget

Fayetteville-Manlius School District residents look on as Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Michael Vespi, left, gives an overview of the budget situation at a forum held Feb. 7 at Eagle Hill Middle School Library.

Fayetteville-Manlius School District residents look on as Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Michael Vespi, left, gives an overview of the budget situation at a forum held Feb. 7 at Eagle Hill Middle School Library. Photo by Ned Campbell.

— “We do want to say that no existing staff will be cut to fund that program and that we have taken a very sharp look at efficiencies in custodial/maintenance and BOCES in order to pay for this position,” Kaiser said.

On the topic of Gov. Cuomo’s 2 percent tax cap, Vespi explained that the cap varies by school district. F-M could actually increase its tax levy by 2.65 percent based on the new law’s formula, which allows for certain expenses to be exempt from the cap, Vespi said.

He insisted that F-M does not intend to go above 2 percent — what he calls the “perceived limit.”

The proposed budget includes a 1.95 percent tax levy increase, which would be achieved by taking the remaining $509,000 from the Workers’ Compensation Reserve Fund.

School district officials hope to make this the fourth year in a row F-M has kept its tax levy increase under 2 percent.

“Our main goal is to keep [the tax levy] as low as possible for the taxpayers … but we also have to balance that with the programs that we have,” Vespi said.

The F-M Board of Education plans to review and tweak the budget before presenting it in full during its 6:30 p.m. regular meeting Monday, March 26, at Eagle Hill Middle School Library. The final budget presentation and adoption is slated for April 2. A public hearing will be held May 7 before the annual vote on May 15.

Ned Campbell is editor of the Eagle Bulletin. Reach him by email at editor@eaglebulletin.com.

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