May 29, 2013 —
Voters in the Sullivan West School District overwhelmingly approved a $34.4 million budget, 453-185, for 2013-14. The spending plan comes with a tax levy increase of 1.99%, which is beneath the district’s state-mandated tax cap and lower than six other districts in Sullivan County.
Over 70% of the voters were in favor of the budget, the highest percentage ever.
“It’s really good to see that the community is behind us,” board member Ken Cohen said at the May 23 meeting.
Superintendent Nancy Hackett added that the district wanted to remain below a 2% tax levy increase. The superintendent said there will not be any cuts to staff, programs, resources or classes.
“I just want to thank everyone for their hard work,” Hackett added.
The $34,470,595 budget is a 3.10% increase from 2012-13.
The majority of revenue comes from the tax levy, $17.1 million, and from state aid, about $13.6 million, both totals similar to that of the 2012-13 budget. The expenditures consist of three state-required components: programs, $23.6 million; capital, $6.9 million; and administrative, $3.9 million.
Board members also expressed satisfaction that four incumbents will be returning to office. They are Kevin Murphy (464 votes), Joan Glase (444), Rose Joyce-Turner (444) and Cohen (436).
In other news, the board unanimously accepted a low bid of $1.7 million from West Babylon -based Milcon Construction Corporation for slate-roof replacement and restoration at the Jeffersonville elementary school. The board accepted the bid based on the recommendation of its architecture firm, CSArch, based in Albany. Milcon was one of three bidders.
The slate roof at the elementary school is over 70 years old.
Bryan D. Manning, a principal with CSArch, said his company has previously worked with Milcon and it has a good reputation. To ensure that the work runs smoothly, Manning said, “We’re going to have a representative on site every day.”
It wasn’t clear how long the project will take.
The board also announced high school graduation will take place on June 22 in the gymnasium, with additional seating in the auditorium. The board had considered holding the commencement in the auditorium, but at the February meeting a group of students submitted a petition to urge the board to hold commencement exercises in the gym.