Penn Yan, Dundee Schools fine tune budgets

Gwen Chamberlain

Local school districts are preparing to seek voter approval for budgets for the coming school year.

Both Penn Yan and Dundee School districts are expecting to ask voters to approve plans that call for an increased tax levy.

In Penn Yan, the latest budget figures shared with the Board of Education call for an increase of 3.32 percent. But Assistant Superintendent for Business Cathy Milliman says administrators are working to bring a budget in with a tax levy increase below 2.33 percent, the state’s required tax levy cap.

In Dundee, the latest figures call for a property tax levy increase of 3.9 percent, just under the allowable tax cap of 4 percent.

Although state officials refer to the tax cap as “2 percent,” the formula that is used to establish a cap usually results in a higher allowable increase.

Here are more details about the two spending plans:


The $36 million budget accounts for a spending increase of 2.89 percent or just over $1 million in anticipation of state aid of about $15 million.

The school district’s debt payments are expected to be $4.7 million, consistent with the past four years. While old debt is zeroing out, payments on the latest capital project are beginning. The district’s transportation purchasing plan accounts for $434,238 in 2019-2020, and voters will be asked to approve $455,000 to purchase four buses — one 42-passenger; two 65-passenger; and one 65 passenger with a luggage compartment.

The proposed budget will be reviewed agains at the April 10 meeting. A public hearing will be held May 8, and the budget vote will be held May 21.


The budget includes total spending  of just over $19 million, an increase of 1.2 percent or $224,450.

Wages and benefits account for 63.3 percent of the budget while debt payments account of 9 percent.

Dundee’s plan calls for the use of $2.275 million of reserved funds for construction, buses, repairs, insurance, local retirement, unemployment and a tax reduction reserve. Dundee’s state aid package is expected to increase by 1.9 percent, according to Business Manager Melissa Lawson. An additional $21,000 in state aid the school district learned about after the state budget was approved will reduce the use of reserves, she says.