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N. Colonie presents budget before vote

The district is also looking into a transition program for special education students where they will be able to work on the Siena College Campus. Nardollilo said this would be a benefit to those students as it would provide them a college experience. The district is also going to use a BOCES Substitute service, allowing it to pick from the same pool of teachers. This would be expanding on the same practice that began at the secondary level in 2009.

N. Colonie will also be hiring a director of media service from the BOCES Communications Service.

Through all of this, Nardollilo said the estimated tax rate is expected to be an increase of 2.97 percent, which is the second lowest increase in 11 years, according to Superintendent Joseph Corr.

Nardollilo said for those who are voting on the budget on May 17 will not be voting on the tax rate, but they will be voting on the expenditure budget.

She also said that to stabilize the tax levy and fill the budget gap, the district was forced to use $4.9 million from its $12.5 million fund balance. Bill Edwards, a parent in the district, noted that N. Colonie plans to use almost a third of its fund balance and wondered how the district will be able to cope with that in the next couple of years.

"That is a projected use of the fund balance," Corr said. "The goal is not to realize the entire fund balance and the goal is not to use $4.9 million. Through wise spending patterns throughout the year, we hope to, in reality, maybe only use $2.5 million. But that's what is allocated there to balance the budget."

Assistant Superintendent for Business Thomas Rybaltowski said accessing the fund balance will provide some space for the district in balancing the budget in the coming years.

"We do have a cushion of 3 or 4 years to take action," he said, "which we we're hoping does not occur."

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