Chenango Schools Finalize Budgets Tonight
Published: April 21st, 2008
By: Michael McGuire

CHENANGO COUNTY – Area school boards are scheduled to adopt proposed 2008-2009 budgets tonight in a round of special meetings.

The adopted budgets will then go to public vote May 20.

Some districts will use the special meetings to re-work parts of next year’s spending plans after state financial aid numbers announced earlier this month were less-than-expected, despite increases over last year.

Although subject to change, here’s a glance at tentative budget highlights:

• Bainbridge-Guilford Central Schools Superintendent Karl Brown could not offer preliminary budget figures until after tonight, but said early projections showed the district seeing about a 5.5 percent increase in spending over last year.

Brown added that the district will receive $39,000 less in state foundation aid than what Albany had predicted under former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, which prompted the board to discuss different options tonight for the budget after it was set earlier this month.

“We need to go back and re-think a few things,” said Brown. “I think we’re in good shape.”

Bainbridge-Guilford will receive $10.1 in state foundation aid, a 13.9 percent increase.

• Greene Central Schools 2008-09 budget expenditure is projected to be $22,045,124, a 6.3 percent increase over 2007-08. There will be no increase in taxes.

School Business Manager Mark Rubitski said major expense factors impacting this year’s budget include heating and diesel fuel, health insurance and special education costs.

“I think we have a good, solid budget,” said Rubitski, adding that the school hasn’t had to cut educational programming. “We’ve been able to maintain or improve upon several programs.”

This is the second consecutive year district taxpayers will see a zero percent increase in the tax levy. The district used $57,000 in debt-service funds to off-set the spending increase.

The school is getting $14.07 million in state aid, a 15.5 percent increase.

• Norwich City Schools taxpayers might also avoid a tax increase. The administration had proposed a 1.87 percent rise earlier this month, but was asked by the board to bring that number to zero, or as close as possible, by tonight.

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