Express News Staff
LONG LAKE -- The Long Lake Central School District's proposed 2014/15 budget remains above the cap on any increase to the tax levy, but has been trimmed by $29,774 from what was reported last month.
Appropriations currently stand at $4.1 million. Subtracting expected revenues of $446,637 and appropriated fund balances of $912,608 leaves an estimated tax levy of $2.7 million. This is up $142,110 over the 2013/14 tax levy and exceeds the cap by $99,736.
The tax rate is estimated at $4.4083 per $1,000 of assessed value, up $0.2485. This is an additional $24.85 in taxes on a home assessed at $100,000.
Board President Christine Blumberg said she was not prepared to make further cuts at this time. "Any further cuts will result in cuts to staff and programs," she said. The other board members agree, but continue to hold out hope for more state aid.
Board Member Robert Keough and Superintendent of Schools Mary Dickerson will be visiting local groups to present the budget and answer questions.
GEA HAS TO GO
In a related matter, the board passed a resolution calling for the immediate elimination of the Gap Elimination Adjustment, implemented in 2010 as a one-time reduction in education aid to help offset shortfalls in the state budget but never revoked.
Since its inception, the GEA has reduced state aid to LLCS by $383,360 -- way more than enough to cover the increase in the tax levy.
The resolution, which is similar to those being adopted by other school districts, was narrowly approved with board members Keough, Christine Campeau and Paul Roalsvig voting yea, while Blumberg and Michael Nerney voted nay.
Blumberg and Nerney are concerned some of the wording in the resolution is "too political." Blumberg would prefer a letter-writing campaign by residents.
-- French teacher Joseph Koehring presented an in-depth view of how he teaches French in classes from kindergarten through high school, complete with video of students speaking that language.
-- Nerney suggested using Survey Monkey or Google Form "to find out in an anonymous, confidential way how faculty and staff feel about the school's progress." Only Nerney and Campeau voted for the idea.
-- An all sports merger with Indian Lake Central was approved for the 2014/15 school year.
The LLCS BOE will next meet Thursday, April 10, starting at 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria.