Voters to have say Tuesday on area school district budgets

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School districts across the state and region will hold their annual budget votes and school board elections on Tuesday. Here is a look at the various budgets proposed by local districts, including poll hours and locations:

Adirondack

No local property tax levy increase, along with layoffs of two elementary teachers and four part-time positions, are part of the Adirondack Central School District’s proposed $28.93 million budget for 2019-20 according to Superintendent Edward Niznik.

The budget also proposes eliminating three positions through attrition and would be balanced with help from savings through the upcoming Forestport Elementary School closing that was approved April 4 by the Board of Education. It cuts no educational programs overall. There are also four candidates running for seats on the district’s board of education.

The vote will be held from noon to 8 p.m. in the middle school, Room 111.

Camden

The proposed $52.22 million Camden school district 2019-20 budget includes no program reductions and a 3.51% increase in the local property tax levy. For property owners’ individual tax bills, the actual tax rate to generate the levy is projected to go up only about 0.5%, district Assistant Superintendent for Business Karl Keil Jr. has said, 
due to anticipated growth in the district’s overall property tax base, which will “spread out the tax impact,” Keil explained.

The spending plan is up by $344,261 or 0.66 percent from the current 2018-19 budget.

Voters will also select three members for the district’s board of education. One seat will be for a one-year term; two seats will be for full three-year terms.

The vote will be held from noon to 9 p.m. in the high school lobby.

Holland Patent

The proposed $35.25 million 2019-20 Holland Patent school district budget includes no reductions in programs or employment along with a 2 percent increase in the local property tax levy, according to school district officials.

The proposed spending plan, approved in March by the Holland Patent Board of Education and up by about $676,000 or 1.96 percent from the current 2018-19 budget. “We’re maintaining our programs” plus adding or enhancing in some categories in the budget proposal, district Superintendent Jason Evangelist has said.

For revenues, the proposed 2 percent increase in the local property tax levy is less than a 2.43 percent increase that would have been the limit based on state tax-cap formulas.

Voters will also consider a $9.839 million proposition for a Capital Improvement Project focused on the enhancement of the district’s infrastructure and safety and security measures. This project will have no marginal increase on the taxpayers as this project will be replacing retiring debt. The district will be receiving approximately 83% state aid reimbursement to help minimize the impact on future budgets, the district said on its website. The capital plan would include creating secure entries for General William Floyd, Holland Patent Elementary and Middle School; door hardware replacement at all buildings for classroom security; security camera installations; roof, floor and window replacements; bathroom renovations for ADA compliance; plumbing, water line and drainage upgrades; above ground diesel tanks; and other related items.

Voters will also select one of two candidates to serve on the board of education and could also approve a proposition to purchase three new school buses for $392,800.

The vote will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the High School gymnasium.

Oneida

Voters in the Oneida City School District can vote on a proposed $46.98 million 2019-20 budget, which reflects a budget increase of less than 1%. Oneida received a 3.22% increase in Foundation Aid over the current school year budget. The proposed tax increase is 2.49% over the current budget and is below the district’s tax cap.

A second bus proposition will appear on the ballot requesting authorization to lease five 70-seat passenger buses for five years at an annual cost not to exceed $109,000 per year.

The vote will be held from noon to 9 p.m. at the Durhamville Elementary School and the Oneida High School.

Oriskany

Voters in the Oriskany Central School District will decide on a $15.6 million proposed 2019-20 budget, which represents a 1.72% increase in appropriations from the 2018-2019 budget. The proposed 2019-2020 budget also includes a proposed tax levy that stays within the district’s maximum allowable cap of 2.23%.

“This year’s budget proposal again demonstrates our enduring support of a comprehensive educational program that continues to provide creative and innovative learning opportunities for our students to enhance their educational experience, and a rigorous and relevant curriculum that prepares students to be college and career successful,” the district said.

Voters will also select three candidates for the district’s board of education.

The vote will be held from noon to 8:30 p.m. in the canopy entrance of the high school building.

Remsen

The proposed overall budget is $13,198,752, with a projected tax increase of 3.43 percent which is the allowable limit for the Remsen school district this year. Also on the ballot will be propositions to purchase a 66-passenger school bus and a 20-passenger school bus.

A budget has been created that is both responsive to the district’s needs and fiscally conservative for taxpayers, according to Remsen district Superintendent Rebecca Dunckel-King.

Voters will also select a candidate to fill one five-year term on the district’s board of education.

The 2019-20 school district budget vote will be Tuesday from 1-8 p.m. in the elementary school cafeteria.

Rome 

Voters in the Rome City School District will have their say on the district’s $116.69 million proposed budget. The spending plan is down slightly from the current $117.9 million budget for 2018-19. The 2019-20 proposed budget calls for a 4.06 percent increase in the local property tax levy, the maximum allowed for the district based on state tax-cap formulas.

It also includes some cutbacks to help balance the budget and offset state financial aid shortfalls that have been cited by district officials; among the changes are eliminating about 75 positions through attrition, including retirements, with an estimated 20 to 25 of the staffing reductions through layoffs; and cutting some programs including pre-K special education.

Voters will also choose three school board members from among five candidates.

The polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the following locations: First and Second Wards — Staley Elementary School, 620 E. Bloomfield Street; Third Ward — Lobby at City Hall; Fourth Ward — Gansevoort Elementary School, 758 W. Liberty St.; Fifth Ward — Strough Middle School, 801 Laurel St.; Sixth Ward — St. Paul’s Church, 1807 Bedford St.; Seventh Ward — Life Church, 1110 Black River Blvd.; Eighth and Ninth Wards — Stokes Elementary School, 9095 Turin Road; Tenth Ward — Western Town Library, 9172 Main St., Westernville.

Vernon-Verona-Sherrill 

Voters will have their say on a 2019-20 tentative Vernon-Verona-Sherrill school district budget that includes a proposed 2.99 percent increase in the local property tax levy. The $39.5 million proposed spending plan maintains all academic and extracurricular programs, VVS district Director of Student Programs and Communications Sondra Whalen said. Also, she said the budget adds two special patrol officer positions for schools, plus it expands the school district’s one-to-one Chromebook program and its STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) program. The spending plan, to take effect July 1, is up about $2.3 million from the $37.2 million budget for the current 2018-19 year. The proposed local tax levy increase, meanwhile, is less than the allowable limit under the state’s tax cap formula; the maximum allowable limit is a 4.61 percent increase, Whalen noted.

There is also one vacant seat on the district’s board of education.

District voters can have their say on the spending plan from noon to 9 p.m. at the following sites: Vernon Town Hall; Verona Fire Station and Sherrill Court Facility.

Westmoreland

The Westmoreland Central School is sending its voters a $22.53 million 2019-20 budget proposal, calling for a 1.81 percent increase in spending and a 1.99 percent increase in the amount to be raised by taxes. A separate proposition on the school budget ballot also called for the purchase of three new buses for a total $292,249, which would have no tax impact because the district is not financing the purchase.

There are also four incumbents who are running to fill an equal number of seats on the Board of Education. Three are for three-year terms and one for one-year to complete a term. 

The vote on the budget and school board candidates will be held from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the junior/senior high school gym lobby.

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