UV rolls out $18.6 million budget proposal and $12.8 million building project

NEW BERLIN – Residents in the Unadilla Valley School District will have the chance to weigh in on two multi-million dollar proposals when they go to vote May 19.

School administrators unveiled their proposed 2015-2016 school budget this month. Despite a $2.4 million spending decrease from last year, the pending $18.6 million budget comes with a .81 percent tax levy increase due to a drop in state aid. The district did receive a 4.15 percent increase in basic aid when the state legislature passed their budget earlier this year; however, overall aid, including building aid, has dropped nearly 16 percent.

According to district Superintendent Robert Mackey, most aid reductions are the result of paying off a building loan acquired by the district when the school was built in 2003.

The three-part budget allocates $14 million for programming, $1.9 million for capital expenses, and $2.7 million for administrative costs. With the tax increase, the district says it will be able to maintain student programming without cutting teachers. Mackey said the district further intends to use an additional $30,000 for teacher development and training over the summer.

“We’re very pleased with the budget up to this point,” said Mackey, noting that the proposed .81 tax increase falls well below the allowable 4.93 tax levy limit set by the state.

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