Holley school district presents budget seeking 1.35 percent tax increase

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 3 May 2017 at 3:56 pm

3 running for 2 open seats on Board of Education

HOLLEY – Members of the Holley Board of Education on Tuesday evening held their annual hearing on the school budget.

Sharon Zacher, Holley’s assistant superintendent for business, presented the proposed 2017-18 budget which includes an increase in the tax levy of 1.35 percent, or about $92,000. That increase is below the tax cap of 1.381 percent, she said. The property tax levy ($6,968,766) accounts for about 28 percent of budget revenues.

The proposed budget totals $24.5 million, with a budget-to-budget increase of 0.41 percent or $100,000.

Zacher said Foundation Aid from NYS is up 2.74 percent or by $267,788. She said the district had hoped it would be more but, “We are thankful for what we have.”

She noted Foundation Aid continues to be short of the goals laid out in the original school aid formula agreed upon by state leaders. State aid accounts for about 65 percent of district revenues, she said.

Federal aid for the district is at $780,000 and has been experiencing a slow decline over time, Zacher said.

Appropriated Fund Balance in the proposed budget totals $1.04 million, which is down from the the $1.3 million appropriated in the 2016-2017 budget.

On the expenditure side, the administrative component is $3.2 million; the program component is $16.2 million and the capital component is $5.2 million.

The proposed budget does not include any changes in academic programs, school officials said.

District residents will vote on the budget on May 16 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the foyer of the Middle School/High School.

Three propositions will appear on the ballot:

• Proposition No. 1 – the Annual District Budget of $24.5 million;

• Proposition No. 2 – authorizing the purchase of school buses (two large and two small), a pickup truck, grounds maintenance equipment and choral risers – at a total cost not to exceed $496,600;

• Proposition No. 3 – support of the Holley Community Free Library. The proposed library budget for the 2017-2018 school year is $125,247.

Library Director Sandra Shaw told board members Community Free’s budget is up from 2016-17.  She said the library must pay its staff minimum wage, which is up 7.69 percent. The cost of supplies such as paper, toner, toilet paper and books is also rising. Shaw noted the library has been able to expand programming significantly for both adults and children and has added Saturday hours.

“Our goal is to reach every stratus of the community,” she said.

There are three candidates on the ballot for two open seats (3-year terms) on the Board of Education. Incumbents Robin Silvis and Salvatore DeLuca Jr. are running for re-election. Andrea Newman is also on the ballot.

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