At routine meeting, TH board ponders streamlining its routine

CRARYVILLE—The Taconic Hills Board of Education last month approved the $22,480,000 tax levy for the upcoming school year. There is no increase in the tax levy from last year, but not every tax bill will be exactly the same as last year’s.

“Even though there is a 0% tax levy increase, exemptions have been altered so there might be a dollar increase,” said Business Manager Cybil Howard at the board’s August 13 meeting.

The school district was scheduled to begin collecting taxes September 2. The collection period will end on November 1, 2014. For the first month after the collection period, there will be no penalty for delinquent taxed. For the second month after the collection period, 2% interest will be added to the tax bill. The district is authorized to accept any payment that is within $1 of the amount due.

The board also voted to approve the salary for a full-time School Resource Deputy (SRD) to be provided by the Sherriff’s Office. The SRD will be at the school from 7:45 to 3:45. The officer’s base salary of $40,000 will be covered by the school district, but the Sherriff’s Office will pay for any overtime, provided it is not excessive.

“There will be an educational component,” said schools Superintendent Neil Howard Jr., which might see the officer giving talks in certain classes. The officer will not discipline students directly.

And the board discussed whether to adopt a “consensus agenda” to speed it through regular business “which can be mundane,” said Board President Kevin Maisenbacher. The practice, which is used by other school boards on the county, would allowing more time for presentations and discussion.

In other business at the meeting:

  • After an examination of the Questar III BOCES budget, Taconic Hills will receive a credit of about $839,000 that the district paid to Questar under an arrangement with local school districts that was later disallowed. The money will be returned as credit for BOCES services over a period of five, seven or ten years, depending on the action of the board
  • The Citizens’ Advisory Committee’s recommendation to train substitutes in emergency procedures has been implemented
  • The bid to supply the school’s milk went to Hudson Valley Fresh–a local company. “We’re seeing our farms and our community getting a lot of business,” said Ms. Howard. She said that around 150,000 units of fat-free chocolate milk will be consumed by Taconic Hills students this year.
  • Students who traveled to Dominica-Wallacea on a for-credit science trip gave presentation about their experience.

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