Newfane school budget makes staffing cuts to reduce costs - The Buffalo News

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Newfane school budget makes staffing cuts to reduce costs

NEWFANE – The Newfane School District is planning to cut 13 full-time equivalent positions in an effort to reduce costs in its proposed $33.9 million budget for 2014-15.

A public hearing on the budget is slated for 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Newfane Early Childhood Center, 6048 Godfrey Road.

The proposal to cut 13 full-time equivalent jobs – roughly half through attrition – is based on decreased enrollment, according to school officials.

Interim Superintendent Michael Wendt said: “We have made significant progress in reducing expenses and further reducing the use of the fund balance savings that we’ve had to use (in the past) to balance the budget. By reducing the balance gap now, although we’ll still have to reduce expenses in the future, the need to reduce staff and the impact on programs will be less.”

The proposed budget is up $218,159, or 0.65 percent, over the current budget.

“The budget is very flat,” said Business Administrator Bart Schuler.

The proposed budget would carry a tax levy of $13,025,928.

“We expect taxes to rise less than 1.85 percent,” Schuler said, adding that the tax levy increase allowed under the state’s tax cap is 1.85 percent.

Tax rates are estimated because the state equalization rates and town property assessment figures will not be available until summer.

Schuler estimated that with a 1.85 percent increase, those residing in Newfane and Wilson would pay $28.64 per $1,000 of assessed valuation under the proposed budget.

The current tax rate is $28.12 for Newfane and Wilson.

Lockport and Cambria residents in the district would pay $26.35 per $1,000.

This would mean that under the proposal, the estimated taxes on a home assessed at $100,000 would be $2,004 in Newfane and Wilson and $1,845 in Lockport and Cambria.

Voters will vote on the budget from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 20. They also will be choosing among three candidates for two seats on the School Board, incumbents James Little and Patrick Kilcullen and challenger Joseph Flagler.

Voters also will consider a proposition to turn Newfane Free Library into a school district boundary public library. This would stabilize funding and provide elected representatives to the library board.

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