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Lyndonville school tax increase drops to 1%

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 April 2019 at 8:18 am

More state aid, joint bus contract help contain tax impact

Photo by Tom Rivers: Joe DiPassio Jr., Lyndonville school district business administrator, goes over the proposed $14.1 million budget on Monday.

LYNDONVILLE – The school district last month was projecting a 2 percent tax increase for the next school budget.

However, the district business administrator shared good news with the Board of Education on Monday. State aid came in higher than projected, and a joint busing contract also will save Lyndonville money.

Those factors are resulting in a budget with a 1 percent tax increase. Lyndonville also won’t have to use as much money from reserve funds, giving the district a bigger cushion in the future with those accounts.

The budget includes 5 new full-time positions, with 2 full-time special education teachers, a full-time elementary intervention teacher at $52,000; and two full-time aides at $50,000.

The Board of Education on Monday adopted a proposed $14,171,700 budget that will go before voters on May 21 from noon to 8 p.m. The budget increases spending by $165,000 or 1.2 percent.

The 2019-20 budget will rely on $4,352,341 in the tax levy, which is up 1 percent or $43,092 from this year’s budget.

The district is projected to get $9,290,748 in state aid, which is up $160,402 from the governor’s number in January.

District officials were concerned Lyndonville could be facing a $$250,000 to 300,000 increase in busing costs. But Lyndonville decided to do a joint bid with Roy-Hart and Barker for out-of-district transportation. Busing costs will be up, but the increase is $122,064 or 17.4 percent, from $701,300 to $823,364. The 5-year contract will then increase 2.6 percent annually from years 2 through 5.

Other highlights of the budget include:

• Instruction costs are up by $419,363 or 6 percent from $7,035,469 to $7,454,832. That includes contractual salary increases of $235,000; 2 more special education teachers, $90,000; $50,000 for two teacher aides; $45,000 for elementary intervention teacher; $35,000 for two classroom aides; $50,000 for BOCES support for in-service training, occupational education, technology and other services; $20,000 for equipment and $15,000 for grant writer to be shared with Medina.

• Lyndonville also is saving $193,000 in instruction with four teachers retiring to be replaced by new teachers at lower salary and benefits.

• Bond payments down from $1,407,000 to $840,700, a $566,300 reduction after the district paid off a serial bond last year.

• Health care rates are up $152,000

• Social Security and other benefits are up $59,000

• The teachers’ retirement system payments are down $62,000

The May 21 vote will 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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