PY School budget begins at 6.4 percent tax levy hike

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

The Penn Yan School Board got a first look at portions of the proposed 2015-16 budget last week, and learned a budget-to-budget increase of $872,284 or 2.64 percent will require a tax levy increase of 6.41 percent.  That’s less than the tax levy if this year’s plan is continued with no changes to programs or services. In that case, the tax levy increase would be 10 percent.

Superintendent Howard Dennis and Business Manager Cathy Milliman reviewed the support services portions of  the spending plan, which will be the subject of public vote in May.

Areas that were reviewed included:

• Central Administration, which will increase less than 1 percent by $7,371. This portion of the budget covers the board of education, district clerk, superintendent’s office,  finance office, audits, treasurer and tax collector, purchasing, legal fees, staff recruitment, records management and public relations. District administrators say they will use more cooperative bidding to achieve better pricing on items. This section of the 2014-15 budget totals $746,660.

• Operations & Maintenance, which will increase 3 percent by $60,014. This portion of the budget covers all operations and maintenance costs. The total for this section of the budget for 2015-16 will be $2.06 million.

• Clubs & Athletics, which will increase by $19,081 or 3.55 percent. This portion of the budget covers club advisors and interscholastic athletic coaches, uniforms, officials, and fees associated with the athletics program. It will support all 33 clubs and 55 teams. Milliman notes that costs are increasing due to additional league games being added to schedules. The proposed budget also includes funds to purchase a new wrestling mat.

The total for this section of the budget for 2014-15 is $537,916.

• Transportation, which will increase by $55,268 or 3.22 percent. Increased costs include a full time clerical position, driver training, overtime costs due to driver shortages, and the anticipation of fuel price fluctuations. Bus purchases are not included in this section of the budget. The 2014-15 budget for this category is $1.7 million.

Other portions of the proposed budget will be reviewed at upcoming meetings.

Other business on the board’s agenda Jan. 28 included:

• Meeting Times: The board agreed to continue regular meeting start times at 6:30 p.m. until April’s first meeting, when the time will revert to 7 p.m. The board’s next meeting will be held Feb. 11.

• Bond Resolution: The board agreed to issue $3.165 million in bonds or notes in anticipation of such bonds for the capital improvement project approved by voters in December.

•Professional Development Plan: Superintendent Howard Dennis reported on the district’s professional development plan, which was approved by the board.

• Field Trip: The board approved the overnight field trip plans for Natural Helpers to go to Watson Homestead in Painted Post March 24-27.