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Brocton School Board urged to prepare for work on budget

Brocton Central School District Business Administrator Betty Deland told the School Board meeting Thursday night that it is soon time to work on the 2011-12 budget.

DeLand said she has compiled some preliminary figures and noted new Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will present his budget proposal on Feb. 1.

After that, she said, the board should have an idea how much state funding will be coming to the district for next year.

Looking for ways to trim costs, the board is trying to share expenses with other school districts.

Trustees will meet in an open session beginning at 10 a.m. Feb. 12 with the boards of Ripley, Westfield and Chautauqua Lakes districts to discuss cost-sharing ideas. The meeting will be held in Chautauqua Lake School.

Recently, Brocton and Westfield decided to combine their football programs for next year.

Superintendent John Hertlein called Tuesday night's school open house "extremely successful," with more than 50 people attending and asking questions about the capital project proposal.

School officials fielded many questions about the proposed capital project to be funded by state EXCEL funds and building aid, at no local taxpayer expense.

Another public meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 2 in the school auditorium. The district will vote on the capital proposal from noon to 8 p.m. Feb. 15 in the gym foyer.

The proposal is for updates and renovation to the school building, including energy-efficient lighting, masonry and concrete repairs; new roofing over the library; pool, kitchen and cafeteria updates; rewiring; updated heating system; and window and door replacements.

The project cost estimate is $15.4 million -- with no local tax impact. The district would receive $15.1 million from state building aid and $307,920 from EXCEL.

Brocton is eligible for the higher state building aid because the district qualifies as a "high-needs district," officials said. A district newsletter noted that if voters reject the capital project, the renovation and repair projects will have to be funded "piecemeal" through annual maintenance appropriations fund by taxpayers.