Oswego School Board Adopts Budget

OSWEGO, NY – At Wednesday night’s school board meeting, the board unanamously
approved the final incarnation of Superintendent Bill Crist’s 2013-14 spending plan.

The proposed budget was about $77,940,000, contained a 2 percent tax rate increase and the number of positions impacted had dropped to 8.6.

Wednesday night, Crist noted a few changes. The proposed budget that was approved by the board now stands at $78,240,412. That is an increase over the current budget of $1,636,355,

Crist said. The tax rate increase is still 2 percent.

The district opted not to take part in the Employee Retirement System stabilization concept (“smoothing”) that the governor had proposed, Crist said in explaining the slight change in the budget.

“The ERS stabalization is not included (deferred amount is still an expense for 2013-14 under modified accural accounting),” he said. “It provides no monetary savings to the district at this point.”

He acknowledged that the announced retirements in the district (some of which won’t be
filled) has help ease the budget crunch, he added.

“Additionally we would look at a tax rate proposed levy change from $18.84 per thousand
(assessed value) to a tax rate per $1,000 of 19.23 reflecting the 2 percent incrase,” he said.

The second proposition on the ballot will be to purchase a dozen buses.  This would include seven 66-passenger budgets, two seven-passenger Suburbans as well as two 30-passenger buses and a 30-passenger wheelchair bus.

The total cost would be $99,790. State aid would provide $670,859 back to the district.

It would have no impact on the proposed budget.

However, the next five years it would be an estimated per year local expense of $71,000, Crist said.

Board member Sam Tripp said he’d like to see a wage increase for the substitute bus drivers in the budget if possible.

“I believe we budgeted appropriately to cover a modest increase,” the superintendent said.

“We have increased those (budget) lines as well as compensated for the minimum wage
increase,” Jim Southard, the district’s business manager, pointed out.

“I appreciate the work the financce committee did, he productive workshop meetings that we had,” Crist said.

Budget Calendar

May 1: Deadline for submission of petitions for nominations of board of education candidates
May 7: Public hearing on budget
May 21: Public vote (from noon to 9 p.m.)