The district also has a $95,000 increase in its “General Support” budget. This comes from $25,000 to purchase a new maintenance truck, $10,000 for BOCES computer services that are mandated by the state and $45,000 for payment on a settlement with Skaneateles Country Club, Bates said.
After hearing public feedback, the board decided to raise the levy for this year from 4.77 to 4.98 percent and save $45,000 of its reserve funds for next year’s budget. This year’s budget includes $355,000 of revenue from the district’s reserve fund, which only has about $400,000 remaining.
The district will still send out budget brochures to homes in the district and hold a public information session prior to the budget vote and school board election on May 21 and information about the budget and the district’s spending history are available at skanschools.org.
Referendum for new computers
The board also decided to put a referendum to public vote for a bond to purchase $77,810 worth of new computers.
The district needs to purchase new hardware and upgrade its network and internet connection to meet state standards for the beginning of online standardized tests in 2015.
For the 2014 to 2015 school year standardized testing for grades three through eight will be done online in school computer labs. Before the testing starts, districts across the state are required to upgrade their computers, computer security and speed of their internal network and external internet connections as mandated by the state.
The board decided to make this a referendum because it was such a large, an unexpected expense and would have been difficult to include in the expenses of their operating budget.
The board’s was resolution was too late to include on the May 21 ballot along with the budget, election and referendum to purchase two new buses, so it will appear on the June 11 ballot along with the $22 million capital project that also needs public approval, Bates said.
Joe Genco is the editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.