MORIAH — The proposed Moriah Central School budget meets the state tax-cap formula for the district, but school officials say it wasn’t easy.
To avoid exceeding the cap, the district eliminated an elementary-level teacher through attrition, and a full-time bus driver-custodian will not be rehired when school starts in September.
The state formula allows Moriah up to a 2.67 percent tax-levy increase, and the 2014-15 budget came in at that figure after several workshops.
The amount to be raised by taxes is $3.87 million, an increase of $100,688 over the current budget’s $3.76 million levy.
The budget totals $15.69 million, a 4.56 percent increase over the current spending plan.
“We had a very tough budget again this year,” Superintendent William Larrow said. “There was a minimal increase in state aid. Putting a budget together under the (tax) gap was very challenging.”
SOME FUND BALANCE
The district gets $355,000 more in state aid for next year, for a total of $10.9 million.
But it has lost $2.4 million in funding since 2010, he said, because there were some years the state cut its aid.
“We’re happy to get some additional money, but it’s just catching us up to where we should be,” Larrow said.
They used some of the district’s fund balance to balance the new budget, he said, about $185,000 out of $495,000.
“We’re making sure our services are the services children need to grow and ensure 21st-century needs,” the superintendent said.
The budget includes 3 percent raises for teachers and support staff and 2.5 percent pay increases for administrators.
‘VERY GOOD BUDGET’
Larrow said Moriah is always looking at ways to share services to save money.
“We share services as much as possible within the community or neighboring districts. We share equipment, use of the school building.”
The district also shares some busing to Champlain Valley Educational Center in Mineville with other districts.