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March 30, 2015 Board of Education Budget Meeting Minutes

 

 

March 30, 2015

 

 

CALL TO ORDER

A special budget meeting of the Board of Education of the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District was called to order at 7:30 P.M. by President W. Remington in the conference room on the above date.

 

 

ROLL CALL

 

Present: W. Remington, H. Simmons, D. Taylor, R. White, W. Witherell, J. Young, T. Zellweger, and Mr. Saiff.

 

Absent: J. McGill and B. Remington.

 

Others: B. Fairchild, S. Hartson, M. Robinson, and R. Stewart.

 

 

QUORUM

Quorum of five established.

 

 

QUESTIONS FROM PUBLIC & PRESS

None.

 

 

No. 2015-169

UNUSED WEATHER/ EMERGENCY DAYS

 

Based upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by W. Witherell and seconded by H. Simmons to apply one of two unused weather/emergency days as one full day of no school on Friday, May 22nd, 2015. If the second of two days are not needed for actual weather or other emergency closings, the recommendation is also to have two early release days for elementary students on June 23rd and 24th, 2015. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2015-170

LETTER OF RESIGNATION/ T. EAKINS

Based on the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by W. Witherell to accept Tony Eakins’ letter of resignation, effective the end of the school day April 15, 2015, with regret. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2015-171

BUS DRIVER/M. MILLER

 

Based on the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by W. Witherell to appoint Maureen Miller as a full-time bus driver. Mr. Saiff noted T. Eakins’ resignation has created a vacancy and that Maureen has been subbing for the District as a bus driver for the better half of a year. Mr. Saiff stated Maureen is our most tenured substitute bus driver. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2015-172

SUBSTITUTE BUS DRIVER/ W. CRUMP

Based on the recommendation of the Superintendent, Motion made by T. Zellweger and seconded by W. Witherell to authorize Francis Barney to begin bus driver training with Wendy Crump. Mr. Saiff added that Mrs. Crump is currently a Kitchen Aide as well as a parent in the District. Mr. Saiff noted that Wendy has done an excellent job in the kitchen, and that he is confident she would be a good, conscientious driver. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

2015-2016

BUDGET WORK

The Board of Education reviewed preliminary budget figures showing a spending plan of $10,792,137 with a corresponding tax levy of 4.9%. Mr. Saiff also shared figures affected by aid and areas affected by cuts.

 

Mr. Saiff noted a significant increase in the area of programming for students with disabilities for the 2015-2016 school year. He explained that in that particular line of the budget, there was a surge in expense of $392,000. Mr. Saiff indicated that other lines of the budget were unremarkable; some increased slightly, while others decreased slightly. Mr. Saiff stated that with the increase in special education costs combined with other increases and a tax levy limit that when calculated was at a negative number, the budget gap was approximately $425,000. To close this gap, he said, would require a local tax levy of 12%, which would be a hardship on the community as a whole. Ways to close the budget gap include decreasing expenditures, increasing revenues, or a combination of both actions.

 

Mr. Saiff stated the District has decreased expenditures where possible for a number of years. To decrease expenditures would now mean cutting programs and positions. The first recommendation, Mr. Saiff said, would be to remove $50,000 of equipment monies in the BOCES budget that have been available for the last few years. This money was often used for technology, such as replacing teacher computers and replacing copying machines, but Mr. Saiff noted SMART Bonds money could be used for similar purposes, and therefore removing $50,000 from that line of the budget was a prudent choice at this time.

 

The second suggestion to decrease expenditures would be to reduce one elementary teaching position. Mr. Saiff explained that there is currently a very small projected incoming Kindergarten class – that there are 15 students in Pre-Kindergarten and 11 in Head Start. While this would seem to indicate a Kindergarten class of 26, only a few of the students currently in Head Start are of age to progress into Kindergarten, lending to a small projected Kindergarten class size. Mr. Saiff told the Board there have been some sections as large at 24 students in the past six years.

 

In terms of increasing revenues, Mr. Saiff stated this would be difficult to do with a projected negative tax levy limit. Mr. Saiff suggested a tax level increase of 4.9% - or about $168,000. With the three proposals Mr. Saiff mentioned, the budget gap would decrease to approximately $92,000. Mr. Saiff reviewed tax levy amounts for the past seven school years, and stated that the local tax levy for the 2015-2016 school year would be on the higher end of what has been asked of the community in years past and would require 60% of the vote. Mr. Saiff stated the District has done its best to negotiate better health insurance prices and to use reserves to absorb the damage created by the Gap Elimination Adjustment.

 

Mr. Saiff stated that he and M. Robinson had estimated the additional tax liability based on a $50,000 home and a $100,000 home. Based on a $50,000 home, district residents could expect to see an increase of approximately $13.85 in their school taxes after applying a basic STAR exemption. The estimated increase in school taxes would be $48.47 based on a $100,000 home after applying the basic STAR exemption. T. Zellweger suggested utilizing the District’s operational Facebook page, which allows users to keep up to date with school events, to inform the public of budget information.

 

 

No. 2015-173

2015-2016 BUDGET

 

Motion made by W. Witherell and seconded by R. White to adopt the following Budget Resolution, reflecting a 4.9% average tax levy increase:

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education of the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District, Towns of Parishville, Hopkinton, Stockholm, and Potsdam, County of St. Lawrence, be and is hereby authorized to expend $10,792,137 and to levy the necessary tax therefore, pending voter approval for the 2015-2016 school year. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

No. 2015-174

BOCES FINAL

COMMITMENT FORM

Motion made by J. Young and seconded by W. Witherell to approve the BOCES Final Commitment Form for the 2015-2016 school year in the amount of $2,105,300.37 plus “as used” CoSers, said amount to be reflected in the proposed school district budget developed for the 2015-2016 school year. Mr. Saiff and M. Robinson reviewed the BOCES Final Commitment Form with the Board. Mr. Saiff stated there was not much variation between last year’s commitment form and the coming year’s. Mr. Saiff added that the form has been reviewed in detail, seeking areas of excess that could possibly be decreased. Mr. Saiff noted that a great portion of the cost was attributed to students in out of building programs. W. Witherell asked if the 2.1 million dollars was part of the 10.7 million dollar total budget. Mr. Saiff responded that it was. 7 in favor, 0 opposed, Carried.

 

 

INFORMATION

The Board received a copy of Wendy Crump’s substitute bus driver application and references, preliminary budget figures, and a list of upcoming events of interest.

 

 

No. 2015-175

ADJOURNMENT

Motion made by J. Young and seconded by T. Zellweger to adjourn at 8:10 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

Mission Statement:
The PHCS community strives to instill in all students the knowledge and skills necessary to become caring, conscientious, and creative citizens.

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