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Brocton School Board approves finalized 2017-2018 budget

May 17, 2017
By AMANDA DEDIE - editorial@westfieldrepublican.com , Westfield Republican

BROCTON - The Brocton Central School District recently presented its proposed $17,836,171 budget for the 2017-18 school year.

Administration is 8.02 percent of the budget ($1,429,692), Capital is 26.79 percent (4,778,672), and Programming is 65.19 percent ($11,627,807).

The budget sees an overall increase of $368,090. Based on the governor's budget, state aid has increased $198,899, or 1.76 percent.

There will be a use of the appropriated fund balance to offset property taxes in the amount of $46,737, an 11.18 percent increase over the 2016-17 school year due to the increase in health insurance costs.

"We belong to the Chautauqua County School District Medical Health Plan. It's a consortium of school districts within Chautauqua County," explained District Treasurer Caitlin Barkley. "There's about 8,000 members with all of the school districts, and the health insurance is purchased cooperatively to try to keep costs down.

"We have been able to keep our health insurance rates significantly lower than most other industries, but we're starting to get the catch up that some people have had in other years in the industry, so we had a 14.4 percent increase that was approved in the consortium for our premiums, along with a few changes to staffing as far as health insurance needs," Barkley said.

The proposed tax levy increase for the 2017-18 school year is 2 percent, or a $91,175 increase.

The district does not yet know what the estimated tax rates will be.

"We don't actually get the equalization rates from the county until August, so we can set what the total tax rate will be, but we can't do each town and what the breakdown per town in the school district will be until we receive that," explained Barkley.

Included budget expenditures include: increased costs related to special education services; increase in BOCES Career and Technical Education student enrollment; significant increase in costs related to health insurance; expansion to the Chromebook 1:1 initiative; purchase of one six-passenger bus and one 28-passenger bus; $100,000 for the Capital Outlay Project; and decreased debt service due to payoff of bus bonds.

"I think there's always things people wish they could add to the budget that don't work within the property tax cap. We still have to make sure of what we're appropriating for fund balance. We do long-term projections so we don't run into a situation in a few years where we have to cut staff or things like that that would negatively affect the students," said Barkley of this year's budget. "So we're trying to do long-term planning for those things. We had a pretty large increase in health insurance this year, so that made it hard to add other programming, but overall I think we're doing a good job for the students. We have a pretty solid budget in terms of the programming we're offering."

One board seat is also up for election; incumbent Steve Smith is running for another term, as well as Kevin Weaver and James Zappie for a five-year term.

The budget vote was scheduled for Tuesday, May 16, from noon to 8 p.m. in the high school gym foyer.

 
 
 

 

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