Holley budget raises taxes 2%, restores school programs

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 April 2013 at 12:00 am

HOLLEY – The school district in 2013-14 will restore many programs that were cut in a budget crisis two years ago, while keeping taxes within a state-imposed property tax cap.

The Board of Education on Tuesday approved a $22,976,429 budget that will go before voters on May 21. The budget increases taxes by 2 percent from $7,393,901 to $7,541,779.

The board voted to bring back the marching band, elementary student council, ski club, golf and boys and girls basketball for grades 4 to 6.

“When kids feel connected to the school, they do better in school, they attend school more and they behave better,” said John Heise, president of the Board of Education.

He said some of the restored programs, such as ski club, promote life-long healthy activities.

The board also will add an athletic trainer, a high school social studies teacher and an elementary teacher.

The board decided to return staff and programs that were cut in previous budgets when state aid was drastically reduced for the district. Next school year state aid is targeted to increase by $742,336 from $10,879,581 to $11,621,917.

Residents will vote on the budget May 21 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the high school foyer.

They will also vote on a bus proposition to spend $372,136, and a proposition to raise $102,652 for Community Free Library. Brenda Swanger is unopposed for a three-year term on the Board of Education.

Another proposition seeks to keep the BOE at seven seats rather than continue a downsizing to five members. Voters a year ago approved a phase-in reduction of the BOE from nine to five members.