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Heuvelton Central School proposes $12.5 million budget

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HEUVELTON – Heuvelton Central School Superintendent Susan E. Todd unveiled a $12.5 million budget proposal Wednesday for the 2013-2014 school year.

The budget proposal includes a tax levy of $3,015,596, a $59,129 increase over this year’s $2,956,467 levy.

The proposal also includes $443,889 more spending than the current year’s $12 million budget. Under the 2011 state-mandated property tax cap, the district is able to raise its tax rate up to 5.97 percent without requiring the budget to pass with 60 percent of the vote.

The Board of Education will meet March 15 to discuss the proposal. Board members will have to fill a $131,340 budget shortfall before next year’s spending plan is finalized.

Board member Thomas A. Nichols said he is hopeful the state will kick in additional aid money in the next state budget, which is due by April 1.

Currently Heuvelton is expecting $7.17 million in state aid, up from $6.91 million last year.

“I wouldn’t hold your breath for more funding,” said school board Vice President Dr. John P. “Jack” Zeh.

Next year’s proposed budget also includes $932,879 in appropriated fund balance, the same amount as last year’s budget.

Mrs. Todd said Heuvelton said although the money was taken from fund balance in this year’s budget, the district did not need to spend it.

“If we could not touch that [this year] it would be great,” Board member Keith Carmany said.

Dr. Zeh said the board’s foresight in years past has put the district in a stable financial position. The budget includes one reduction in staffing due to the retirement of a full-time position that will be replaced with a half-time position.

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