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Iroquois adopts $44 million budget

The Iroquois School Board unanimously adopted a $44 million budget last week that calls for a 2.24 percent tax increase or $36 more annually for a house appraised at $100,000.

Superintendent Douglas Scofield called the budget appropriate.

“It maintains the educational programs needed for students to be successful while providing taxpayers with the lowest level rate change since 2000,” he said Thursday.

Two other items that will appear as propositions on the May ballot were also approved by the board. The first would give the district the ability to purchase three 62-passenger buses with a maximum cost of $400,000. The other requests permission to expend $60,000 from a capital reserve fund that was established by voters in May 2005 for technology-related items.

In other matters, the district has received an offer from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office to have one of its own function as a school resource officer. Iroquois is among the many districts considering a return to having a uniformed officer in the school following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary last December.

The offer from the Sheriff’s Office involved a six-figure price tag which Scofield said the district did not budget for next year.

Though the superintendent did not accept the offer, he plans to list the proposed school resource officer, among other items, on the exit survey given to voters following the school budget vote next month. From it, he hopes to get a sense of where residents stand on the matter and whether they support including it in future budgets.

“The exit survey is very important,” Scofield said. “We type up every comment, categorize the answers and put percentages on them. They’re then fully reviewed by both myself and the board.”

He wouldn’t rule out planning for a resource officer in future school budgets but said he hoped the state would reinstate troopers in school districts.