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February 26, 2018 Board of Education Special Budget Meeting Minutes


February 26, 2018




A special budget meeting of the Board of Education of the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District was called to order at 7:00 P.M. by President T. Zellweger in the High School Library on the above date.





Present: A. Guiney, B. Remington, H. Simmons, D. Taylor, W. Witherell, J. Young, T. Zellweger, and Dr. Collins.


Absent: J. McGill and J. Yette.


Others: E. Alan, S. Latimer, and M. Robinson.








Quorum of five established.



Initial 2018-2019 School Budget DEVELOPMENT WORK SESSION

Dr. Collins referred to the handout provided by M. Robinson. He noted that the first page indicated different tax levy amounts, and the projected budget shortfall. Dr. Collins stated the tax levy would have to be 5% to completely close the shortfall. He said he and M. Robinson have been collaborating to propose a budget with a 2.58% levy limit. He explained that the 2018-2019 school budget would get the District on a treadmill so as to receive aid back the following year for various expenditures.


Dr. Collins discussed proposals for new security groundwork around the building to include exterior double-door replacements. He said he hopes to replace as many exterior doors and frames as possible as part of capital outlay projects. Dr. Collins noted the funds for security upgrades does not cover window replacements, and that $5,000 toward windows does not go very far. Dr. Collins said he is hopeful that the district can allot money for window replacements in future years.


The purchasing of two school buses was discussed, with the cost of a full-size bus ($115,000) to be financed. Dr. Collins said the District is also looking to purchase a small bus completely with cash. The cost of a half-size 25-passenger bus would be $60,000. Dr. Collins said a smaller bus added to the District’s fleet would be sensible, as utilizing a full-size bus for instances when transporting one student or a small class for a field trip was excessive. T. Zellweger said the District typically purchased full-size buses because mileage savings were negligible. H. Simmons asked if the District could purchase a van. Dr. Collins responded that there was financial benefit if the purchased vehicle could be classified as a school bus. M. Robinson added that school buses can be used as capital exclusions in tax cap calculation.


Dr. Collins stated the District was retiring some debt, and that the District’s ability to raise money is impacted on what is determined for a levy. He noted having a bus purchase on the referendum would allow the District some debt exclusion in calculating a budget. He said the District would receive $23,000 less in five years’ time if the bus purchase were removed from the vote.


Dr. Collins also discussed the possible purchase of a new District tractor, as its current vehicle is thirty years old. He said it has been used to work on the soccer fields, removing snow, and generally cleaning up the campus. Dr. Collins said a new tractor would cost $35,000 after applying a $10,000 trade-in value for the current tractor. The new tractor would include loading/unloading forklifts, a plow, a sweeper, and an aerator.


Dr. Collins explained the District has incurred approximately $45,000 in additional special education costs that will be carried forward. He said he would like to see two new additional teachers, but that the budget cannot support that vision at this time. Dr. Collins suggested he would speak with legislators in possibly obtaining bullet aid for the District.


M. Robinson said the budget proposed this evening was based on preliminary numbers released by Governor Cuomo, and that he and Dr. Collins are hoping for an on-time April 1st State budget.


He said before equipment purchases, the District can raise taxes by about $6,000.


Dr. Collins stated if a budget with a 2.58% levy was presented, the District would have a shortfall of about $90,000. He said he hopes that the legislators will assist in closing that gap a bit. M. Robinson noted the budget was designed considering estimates for the new unit employees’ contracts. M. Robinson said there was a projected savings with teachers switching from Riders 5 & 6 to Riders 9 & 10.


M. Robinson said that because the District’s debt is extinguishing, the state aid it receives decreases. He mentioned that state aid includes transportation aide. Mr. Robinson said the decrease in state aid indicated in the handout is due to a decrease in building aid.


M. Robinson asked that the Board provide some direction so that a budget could be further developed. Mr. Robinson said if the full-size school bus was purchased outright, the amount that could be raised via the tax levy would change. He said hopefully the small capital outlay projects will alleviate the need for emergency projects. M. Robinson reminded the Board that the state aide reimbursement rate for the District is currently 82%.


T. Zellweger queried the Board as to what they would like for a tax levy, noting that 1% was only $37,000. He stated if the proposed budget was higher than 2.58%, a supermajority would be needed for the budget to pass. M. Robinson said more of the District’s debt would cease in 2018-2019, and that he would like to keep the District’s debt as even as possible. B. Remington asked if the District could cover a $90,000-plus shortfall right now. M. Robinson replied the District would utilize its dwindling reserves to address the deficit, as expenses are again exceeding revenues. A. Guiney asked how the budget would be affected if a tractor was not purchased. Dr. Collins said he fears the current tractor may not be operable some day in the near future. J. Young said F. Barney requested quotes for new tractors.


J. Young suggested a tax levy of 4%, W. Witherell 3.9%, D. Taylor 3.2%, B. Remington 3.5%, A. Guiney 3.5%, and H. Simmons 2.58%.


Dr. Collins recommended that the next Budget meeting be held on March 19, 2018 in the High School Library. This meeting will precede the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting and will begin at 6:00 P.M.



No. 2018-113


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by H. Simmons to approve the revised Consultant Agreement between the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District and George E. Sansoucy, P.E., LCC. Dr. Collins noted the original agreement was for four taxing jurisdictions, but that Avangrid had decided to withdraw from the Town of Parishville. Dr. Collins said the attorney for St. Lawrence County proposed additions to the agreement so as to protect the remaining taxing entities. He reminded the Board that the taxing entities requested their own independent assessment paid for solely by Avangrid. He said the New Hampshire-based firm of George Sansoucy would assess the value of the wind tower project. Dr. Collins added that if each of the taxing entities agreed to a PILOT, Avangrid could create a “Host” agreement with the Town of Hopkinton so that the town would receive more in payment than the District. He said if the entities do not agree to a PILOT, there could be no “Host” agreement. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.



No. 2018-114


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to go into Executive Session at 8:21 P.M. to discuss the Parishville-Hopkinton Teachers’ Association contract negotiations. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.




M. Robinson left the meeting at 8:21 P.M.




The Board President announced at 8:32 P.M. that the meeting would reconvene.



No. 2018-115


Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to adjourn at 8:33 P.M. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.






School District Clerk

12 County Route 47
Parishville, NY 13672
Phone: 315-265-4642
Fax: 315-268-1309

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