Local News

May 2, 2013

Saranac Lake Central cuts principal post, Summer School


Saranac Lake Central is applying $800,000 of fund balance toward the 2013-14 budget, where for the past few years it has pulled $1 million from reserve funds.

No cuts to sports programming are planned.


School employee health-care costs are up 6.5 percent even with cooperative purchasing through Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES, Bower said.

The district has a three-year contract with teachers that extends from July 2012 to the end of June 2015.

Teacher salary increases were set at 2.95 percent for the current year, which goes up 3.15 percent next year and then to 3.41 percent in 2014-15.

School staff took a 3 percent increase each year in their contract, but all staff employees agreed to enroll in a lower-cost health-care plan.


The district hired new Superintendent Diane Fox at a salary of $115,000, Bower said.

And administrative staff was given two options for a pay raise that hinged on which type of heath-care plan the employees choose, he said.

“Administration staff that kept the current health-care plan received at zero percent this year, a 1 percent raise in 2013-4 and 1 percent in 2014-15.”

Staff who stay with the classic health-care plan would see insurance-contribution increases of 10 percent, 12 percent and 15 percent of the premium for the contract period.

“In the PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plan, increases for administrative staff are set at 1.25, 1.5 and 1.5 percent for each year, and the share (of premium) payment steps would be 4, 6 and 8 percent of the health-care cost.”

Bower said he himself opted for a pay freeze in the current budget year, with a 1 percent raise in the next budget and 1 percent in 2014-15, while paying a percentage of health insurance that increases correspondingly, from 10 to 12 to 15 percent.


Tax rates for the seven towns in the Saranac Lake School District have not been calculated.

“We don’t project tax rates because we don’t know what the assessment values are,” Bower said.

Two propositions are included on the budget ballot: one for the purchase of three new school buses at a cost not to exceed $330,000 and one to give $137,467 to Saranac Lake Free Library.

The budget public hearing is 7 p.m. May 14 in the Petrova School library. 

The school budget vote is 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at Saranac Lake High School.

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