Press-Republican

Local News

May 5, 2014

NACS budget maintains programs

ELLENBURG — Northern Adirondack Central School proposes debt service and program maintenance for the upcoming academic year.

The School Board recently adopted a $21,163,295 spending plan for 2014-15 that calls for a tax-levy increase of 5.75 percent and continued repayment of the district’s $29 million capital project, which was completed last year.

NAC’s state-allowed levy limit of 6.55 percent is significantly higher than that of neighboring districts because the formula used to calculate the figures allows exclusions for increases in capital repayment, according to Northern Adirondack Business Executive Brain Tousignant.

TAX RATE

The school’s 2014-15 tax rate is estimated at $11.46 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which, District Superintendent Laura Marlow noted, is below its 2006-07 rate.

It is also the lowest tax rate among Clinton County schools, she added. 

SPENDING INCREASE

The plan marks a 3.13 percent increase over this year’s spending, though much of that is related to the debt service, Marlow said.

Nearly 4 percent of the tax-levy increase is due to project repayment, as well, Tousignant added, the local share for which is 36 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.

It was originally estimated at 42 cents per $1,000, he said.

NO PROGRAM CUTS

The budget proposal calls for some staffing adjustments due to changes in special-education needs and declining enrollment but maintains all current programs.

“The board really worked hard and diligently to present a budget to the community that controlled spending without sacrificing a high-quality education,” Marlow said.

“Years of fiscal planning have allowed us to maintain our excellent academic and extracurricular programs as affordably and responsibly as possible to our community while staying below our allowable tax cap.”

MORE STATE AID

In addition, the state’s final 2014-15 spending plan is expected to give NAC a state-aid increase of $390,000 over this year.

That is a marked improvement over the funding proposed in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget, the superintendent said.

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