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Forestville School Board hears three budget plans

FORESTVILLE – Three plans for a possible budget for the Forestville Central School District were presented at a meeting Thursday of the School Board.

School Business Administrator Carolyn A. Robertson said this was the last board meeting on the budget before the public presentations and preparation for voting on May 19.

The difference among the three spending plans keeps the tax levy at the same amount of $3.7 million, but would use $56,484, or $83,984 or $166,245 from reserve funds. The recommended budget plan is for $11.7 million in spending with a decrease of 1 percent from this year’s budget and the use of $83,984 in reserve funds. The proposed budget is a decrease of $86,075 from the current plan of $11.8 million.

“Fortunately our district is in a position where we have a level of reserves to fall back on,” said Robertson. She said a proposed tax rate has not been calculated because some property tax assessments have not been finalized. She did not anticipate a large change in the tax rate for the coming year.

The different proposals are based on estimates of additional state financial aid ranging from nothing to $109,761.

The tax cap for the district is 1.64 percent.

In addition to the budget, voters will be asked to decide on the purchase of two new 65-passenger buses at a cost of $188,000 after trade-in. The district has 12 buses in the fleet.

Michael Murphy, director of technology at the school, presented a proposal for spending for his department. He recommended the purchase of six additional projectors to complete installation in all classrooms. He also recommended an additional, larger unit for the library.

He gave board members a report on the replacement of computers in the school district. He said 43 percent of the computers are seven years old or older.

Murphy also explained updates for the video channel used to project announcements each morning for the students. He is projecting expenditures of $61,737.

Robertson said the district will try to balance the school lunch fund. She said the percentage of students who receive free and reduced prices on their lunches increased from 42 percent to 46 percent this year. She said families are encouraged to apply for the program because the district is eligible for additional funds if it has 50 percent or more of students who can receive the funds. She recommended transferring $80,000 from the general fund to the cafeteria fund to help balance the budget.

The next public budget presentation will be April 9 at 6 p.m.