Press-Republican

Wednesday

May 14, 2014

ELCS budget within state cap

ELIZABETHTOWN — The proposed Elizabethtown-Lewis 2014-15 budget has a tax levy up just .64 percent, meeting the state cap.

But keeping taxes low meant cutting some sports offerings and academic trips.

 CAREFUL PLANNING

The total proposed budget of $7,930,000 is up 3.21 percent over this year.

The levy, which is the amount to be raised by taxes, totals $3,493,087, up $22,120.

The proposed tax rate is $13.66 per $1,000 of assessed value, up 9 cents.

The total assessed value for the district is $255,641,290 which includes $1,078,250 in tax-exempt land.

“Despite a lower-than-anticipated tax-levy limit and rising costs that are fixed, we’re able to maintain the core of our academic programs because of the cost-savings measures we’ve been taking over the last four to five years,” ELCS Superintendent Scott Osborne said.

“We’re not able to restore programs and services at this time that were reduced in previous years.”

INCREASED COSTS

BOCES services will rise $32,632, which is less of an increase than last year.

“Utilizing cooperative services through CVES is, in many cases, the most cost-effective solution for our school district to deliver services to students,” Osborne said.

Debt service will be up $22,980 as a result of increases associated with principal on outstanding bonds and the bus bond from last year’s vote.

The largest increase will be for health insurance, which has increased by $102,926.

Fuel costs are up $4,000, and Teacher Retirement System contributions, $30,281.

Capital expenses will rise $100,000 as the district completes renovations to the school’s 1989 roof sections with money taken from the fund balance.

BUDGET CUTS

To offset increases and keep taxes steady, cost reductions equaling $156,750 were made.

Junior varsity basketball was eliminated, as was the annual Harvard Model United Nations trip.

The district also eliminated stipends for the Senior Play and fifth-grade-trip advisers.

The district will also deal with fewer supplies and materials, fewer conferences and workshops, less available funds in the Guidance and Administration Supply budgets, reductions in legal services and two fewer available seats for the CV-TEC program.

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