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May 6, 2013

Lake Placid School budget hits tax-cap limit

LAKE PLACID — The proposed tax levy for Lake Placid Central School District is at the 3.01 percent tax-cap maximum.

School Business Manager Leonard Sauers said the total proposed tax levy is $14,201,792.

The total 2013-14 budget is $17,264,976, up 2.65 percent from this school year.

The tax rate for both Wilmington and North Elba residents would go up about 20 cents, to $6.78 per $1,000 assessed property value. The rate will be adjusted for final assessment figures this summer.

“What’s built into this is no increase or no decrease in assessment values,” Sauers said.

MORE STATE AID

The district gained an increase of $186,000 in state school aid to total $2.5 million.

“That helped us tremendously. We would have had to cut other areas if we hadn’t received that increase,” Sauers said.

HIGHER COSTS

But the payment for the Teachers Retirement System went up $312,000, or 4.4 percent, the business manager said.

The school is in the final year of a three-year union contract that gives teachers 3.25 percent salary increases.

The Civil Service Employees Association increase for staff in the proposed budget is 2.5 percent, Sauers said.

The average pay hike proposed for administrative positions is at 2 percent, though two of them — and maybe a third — will be new hires.

PROPOSITION

One proposition on the ballot seeks voter approval to ask the state for 10 percent increase in building aid to support an Energy Performance Contract already approved by the School Board.

The extra money would be used to replace a boiler at the Elementary School.

“The 15-year performance contract allows the school to pay for the equipment over time with the energy savings we receive,” Sauers said. “In order to get the extra 10 percent aid, the district does need voter approval.”

NO SMOOTHING

The proposed school budget is fairly straightforward, the business manager said.

The district won’t opt for the pension-smoothing program offered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

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