G’town needs extra $1.2 M? No problem

GERMANTOWN—Superintendent Susan Brown is scheduled to present a draft 2016-17 budget for the Germantown Central School District at the next Board of Education meeting Wednesday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m. She will outline and discuss the instructional and special education budget, along with expenses for debt service and employee benefits.

Business manager Catherine Gomm presented the revenue side of the draft budget at the board’s March 9 meeting. After the meeting Ms. Gomm said that revenue and expenses would probably be about $1 million apart at the start of the process.

Last year, the board started the 2015-16 budget process with a $1.2-million shortfall, with revenues (taxes, state aid, interest) expected to total $13.3 million and expenses of $14.5 million. But the final budget for the current year, which ends in June, was balanced, as required by the state, at $14,502,850. That happened after the board tweaked expenses, set the tax levy at 1.37%–the maximum allowed under the state tax cap for the district–and used some of the unassigned fund balance.

This year, the district’s tax cap levy is 0.16%. While the state property tax cap is generally said to be 2%, it is calculated using a complicated formula that can leave school districts and towns well under that.

The district votes on the budget and elects two board members Tuesday, May 17.

The terms of Faydra Geraghty and Ralph Delpozzo end in June. Reached Tuesday, Ms. Geraghty said she would not be running for her seat again this year though she did not rule out a future run. “I’m still interested, and I support our school and kids and community,” she said.

Mr. Delpozzo said Tuesday that he would run again this year. “I love it, and I love the children, so how can I not stay with it?” he said.

In other business at the March 9 meeting, the board:

• Congratulated Robert Dunn, 2016 valedictorian, who has a grade point average of 95.1, and Jackie Bermester, 2016 salutatorian, with a GPA of 94.4

• Approved the nomination of former board member Lynn Clum to the Rensselaer-Columbia-Greene BOCES Board

• Rescinded a January 13 resolution to donate four lever voting machines to the Columbia County Board of Elections and began the process to sell machines at auction instead.

All board members and a dozen community members attended the meeting. The March 23 meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the school, 123 Main Street.

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