Lyndonville school district budget would increase taxes 2%

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Lyndonville Board of Education meeting on Monday included a presentation from fourth-graders in a coding club, where they program robots. This photo shows Hannah Fox with Dr. Aaron Slack, junior-senior high school principal; and board member Kelly Cousins.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 March 2019 at 12:18 pm

Michael Alexander, a fourth-grader, talks about the coding project with Harold Suhr, a member of the Board of Education. The Coding Club emphasizes skills with STEM,

LYNDONVILLE – The school district has put together a $14,214,793 budget that would increase taxes by 2 percent. The budget isn’t final. It can still be tweaked before it is formally adopted by the Board of Education in April. It goes before district voters on May 21.

The overall spending would be up $207,811 or 1.5 percent from the $14,006,982 in 2018-19.

Joe DiPassio Jr., the district’s business administrator, urged the board to approve the 2 percent tax increase, saying it would be “prudent.” The district last year approved a 1 percent increase, following a year where taxes weren’t increased.

The 2 percent increase is under the state-imposed tax cap. Lyndonville has a tax cap allowance of $157,000, but is looking at a $86,190 increase. The district was able to carry over some of the tax cap cushion from the previous years.

DiPassio went over the budget during Monday’s Board of Education meeting. Some highlights include:

• The district is proposing to budget a $258,064 increase in transportation (36.8 percent increase); $326,456 more in instructional (4.6 percent); a $149,233 hike in employee benefits (4.9 percent). Lyndonville is seeing a $566,300 decrease in debt service payments which will help offset the increases.

• The district would add three full-time employees, including two special education teachers. Lyndonville also wants to add a technology integration specialist who would be 0.2 full-time. That person would help the district as it works to include more technology in the classroom.

• Four teachers are retiring, which will save the district about $193,000 for the lower-cost replacements, whose salary and benefits will be at a lower price.

• Health insurance is projected to increase by $87,000 but pension costs for teachers will be down $62,000, DiPassio said.

The May 21 vote will likely include the following propositions:

• School budget

• 3 board seats

• Transportation purchases, not to exceed $260,000. That includes one new 64-seat passenger bus, not to exceed $125,000 (which will replace a 2007 bus with 137,000 miles); two new passenger vans, not to exceed $46,000 each (replacing one from 2010 with 167,000 miles and one from 2014 with 150,000 miles); a new vehicle with room for four or five people to transport staff and students, at a cost not to exceed $43,000.

•Allowing one student to serve as ex-officio, not-voting member of the Board of Education.

• $103,750 for Yates Community Library, up from $2,832 or 2.8 percent which is within the library’s allowable tax cap.

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