VOORHEESVILLE The Voorheesville Board of Education unanimously adopted a $22.56 million 2013-14 budget during a special meeting on Tuesday, April 23. The tax levy would be raised by 3.23 percent under the plan.
The budget was largely unchanged from the board’s previous meeting, with only fine-tuning reductions. The tax hike is below the district’s state imposed tax cap, and the budget increases spending over this year by nearly $694,000, or 3.17 percent. Fund balance allocation is also increasing by $100,000 to total $700,000.
“The cuts this year are all as painful, but they weren’t as painful as they could have otherwise been,” Board President Timothy Blow said after the meeting. “Our administrators did some things, like the change in the health care, to try and tighten the belt where we can.”
Board members cut around $316,000 from the budget, largely avoiding classroom instruction. Some additional savings were also attainted through restructuring, such as cutting natural gas costs by $33,000 due to joining a larger consortium and streamlining services contracts.
Freshman basketball is slated for elimination, but Blow was fairly optimistic it would be restored. Board members primarily proposed the cut because of the possible lack of competition at that level, Blow said.
“As things develop over the next couple of months, I’m fairly confident that freshman basketball would be restored,” Blow said. “My last report from the athletic director was that he is fairly confident he could get a reasonably good schedule for next year. That was the one reason it was on the cut list.”
Eliminating the freshman team is estimated to save around $4,500, which Blow said could be found through additional cost savings or shifting athletic department funds.
“We’ll find the money if we need to, but I think it will be here next year in one form or another,” Blow said. “It’s a relatively minimal dollar amount. I’m sure we could cover it.”