ELIZABETHTOWN — The interim superintendent of the new Elizabethtown-Lewis-Westport Central School Board says its first proposed budget needs to be in place by mid April.
The board, Dr. Mark Davey said at the board's second meeting, needs to get moving on it “in an expeditious manner.”
Budget development factors include:
• A School District tax-cap growth factor of 2 percent.
• Health insurance premium increases based on a projection that they will rise 12 to 15 percent, which Davey considered “a fairly significant increase.”
• Salary increases and negotiations that generally run from 2 to 3 percent.
• A teachers retirement rate decrease to 8.86 percent, while non-teaching employees (custodial, aides, bus drivers, etc.) rate will increase to 14.8 percent.
The governor’s executive budget recommendations include:
• A foundation aid increase of $338 million.
• Increase in Universal Pre-K funding of $340 million.
• To make the tax cap permanent.
• A new building aid rate after July 1, 2019;
Graphs showing breakdowns of district aid before the merger and what is now expected were shown.
In addition it was stressed that the new district will need to carefully analyze the incentive aid for needed items as well as look into long term planning.
In other business at last week's meeting:
Oaths of office were administered board member Karin DeMuro and District Treasurer Sharlene Petro-Durgan, as they had not be present at the last meeting.
Board member Suzanne Russell strongly urged the continuance of accepting out-of-district students.
“They have added to the district and our culture," she said. "They are part of the Westport family, and if this was not to continue, it would be hurtful.”
St. Lawrence/Lewis BOCES Cooperative Purchasing Bids for was approved fuel oil and LP gas/propane from MX Petroleum at $2.25 per gallon for the Elizabethtown and Westport main buildings, as well as $2.39 per gallon for the current bus garages.
Suburban Propane was approved as the propane provider at $1.28 per gallon.
The board encouraged input from district residents on the transition advisory teams now being formed. The teams and their committee chairs are:
• School Identity (ELCS Superintendent Scott Osborne).
• Curriculum Programming (WCS Superintendent Josh Meyer).
• Athletics (Paul Buehler and Tom Smith).
• Extra-curricular Programs (Rob Witkiewicz).
• Special Education (Robin Douglass).
• Facilities and Transportation (Eric Bell of CVES and Osborne).
• Technology (Meyer).
• Code of Conduct (Rob Witkiewicz).
The next two board meetings are set for:
• Monday, March 18, at Westport Central.
• Monday, April 1, at ELCS.
Executive sessions are anticipated to take place immediately after the 6 p.m. call to order with a return to the regular meeting at 7.
The new ELWCS website is under development, the board noted.