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Springville-Griffith Board of Education unanimously passes $36.3 million budget

After months of discussion about a possible deficit, additional state aid and reductions in some expenses created a surplus in the Springville-Griffith Institute Central School District.

The Board of Education unanimously adopted the 2015-16 spending plan Tuesday night with a tax levy increase of $226,744, or 1.496 percent, the amount allowed by the state-required cap.

Board members approved a $36,344,501 budget that includes a $15,378,653 levy, the amount collected in property taxes.

Overall, expenses rose by $208,793, or 0.57 percent.

In addition to preventing a deficit, officials restored a pair of social worker positions targeted for elimination and the equivalent of half a high school foreign language teaching position.

Earlier in the budget process, officials projected a $1.6 million deficit. That number dropped to $1.367 million and then $811,093 before resulting in a $433,461 surplus.

District officials learned in early April that an additional $1.16 million in state aid would arrive. They also realized that union contracts would cost less than expected and they would receive additional special education tuition.

Allison K. Duwe, board president, emphasized that the district faced more challenges than usual.

“I think given the lack of information from the state and the deficit we were anticipating, it was a difficult year,” she said afterward.

Duwe said she expects more fiscal troubles.

“We don’t think we’re out of the woods yet,” she said. “We anticipate budget difficulty in the future.”

A public budget hearing will occur during the next board meeting at 7 p.m. May 5 in the high school’s library.

Voters will decide the budget’s outcome from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 19 in the high school’s library, Colden Elementary School and Collins Center Fire Hall.