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LCSD approves budget

— The Liverpool Central School District Board of Education approved the adoption of the superintendent’s 2013-14 budget Monday evening, with an amendment that included $47,000 for late bus runs. Roll was called and the motion passed unanimously.

“We have looked at this a number of times,” BOE President Patricia DeBona-Rosier said after no initial questions or comments were raised regarding the motion to approve the budget. “Most of the questions have been asked and answered.”

Questions about the budget, including concerns relating to the reserve funds balances and the impact that cuts to supplies might have on classrooms and students, were addressed at a March 18 public forum, according to the minutes.

The budget, which Superintendent Dr. Richard N. Johns presented at a Feb. 25 meeting, relies on the district’s reserves to close a $9 million gap. It also makes some cuts and simultaneously restores some items that previous budgets have cut.

The 2013-14 budget includes a large increase in retirement costs that swells from last year’s $6,000,153 into the teacher’s retirement system to this year’s $8,235,007.

The total proposed tax levy for the 2013-14 year is $74,581,208, which represents a 2.82 percent increase over last year. The final tax levy will be set in August.

The proposed budget at the Feb. 25 meeting included cutting the district’s late buses at a savings of $47,000. Between then and Monday evening, the budget proposal was amended to include $47,000 for continuing the late bus runs.

Johns had also anticipated receiving an increase of approximately $1 million in unknown state aid at the Feb. 25 meeting. On Monday, Assistant Superintendent for Support Services and Superintendent Designee Katherine Phillips reported on the state aid for the district, adopted on March 27, saying that the year-to-year change amounted to $1,344,226.

Board member Richard Pento stated one comment before the vote to approve the budget: “It’s nice to finally be actually putting some education back into the budget.”

The budget vote will be held Tuesday, May 21. To view the adopted budget, visit liverpool.k12.ny.us.

In other business:

The board voted unanimously to adopt the annual budget and real property tax report card. The board also voted unanimously to employ Bond, Schoeneck and King attorney David Ferrara to serve as the lead negotiator for the development of a replacement contract for the Service Employees International Union bargaining unit.

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