May 6, 2013

Moriah School budget under cap

BY LOHR McKINSTRY Press-Republican

---- — MORIAH — A tax-levy increase slightly greater than 2 percent keeps the proposed Moriah Central School District budget under the state tax cap.

The $3.76 million to be raised from property taxes is 2.07 percent higher than last year, when the levy was $3.69 million. 

The district was allowed to increase the levy up to 2.87 percent under the state cap formula, Superintendent William Larrow said.

“We are a little under. Anything we could cut was cut from this budget. Areas we could adjust, we adjusted.”

He said one full-time special-education teacher who is leaving will not be replaced.

“We will move staff around to cover.”


What really helped officials in crafting the spending plan is that some of the debt from previous building projects has been paid off, District Treasurer Erin Gilbo said.

“Debt payments went down around $400,000 (a year).”

That includes a revenue anticipation note (RAN) from several years ago, she said.

The district also got a $318,000 increase in state aid that helped, Larrow said.

He said all current staff has agreed to switch to BOCES Plan B for health insurance, which saves around $60,000 a year.

“We had a significant savings there. Also, fuel prices went down.”


Teachers and support staff receive contractual 3 percent raises next school year, and administrators will see 2 percent increases.

The 2013-14 budget totals $15.1 million, a 1 percent spending decrease over this year.

“It has been a better budget year for us,” Larrow said. “Everything is intact with this budget. It maintains all programs. 

“We’re extremely happy we can still provide all services for students that we’ve provided in the past.”


Voters will also decide on a budget proposition to purchase two new school buses at a cost of $158,000.

A budget hearing is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday in the school library, with the budget vote and school election from 1 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 21.

The district art show and a student-sponsored spaghetti dinner are the same day as the vote, with the dinner from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

Moriah has 740 students in grades prekindergarten through 12.

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