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School District To Pay Back Indeck

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego Board of Education got another look at the latest figures for the tentative 2013-14 school budget.

At Tuesday night’s board meeting, Superintendent Bill Crist updated the board members on the $80.2 million spending plan.

The budget committee is working to tighten the budget before it is officially presented to the board for approval later this spring.

“At this point, it’s a best guess as to what we’re trying to get to,” Crist said. “We have some hard work to do.”

The current budget “is very tight, very lean,” he said adding that he think the 2013-14 school budget will be the same.

As things stand now, the district is facing a $3.1 million budget gap.

They will use $2 million from the appropriated fund balance.

“We should be in pretty good shape. There is about $6.7 million in that account,” according to Jim Southard, the district’s business manager.

The 2013-14 budget is being crafted in the wake of Tuesday night’s settlement of the tax challenge brought by Indeck-Oswego, seeking a reduction of the assessed value of its property within the city (and school district) of Oswego.

The board voted 6-0 in favor of approving the deal.

“We had an idea that it was going to get to this point,” Crist said of the settlement with Indeck. “We have a lot of hard work to do now to come in with a fiscally responsible budget for the next school year.”

The essential terms of the settlement are a reduction of the assessed value for the tax parcel (Steam Station) from $10,000,000 to $5,542,000 for tax year 2009-10; $3,500,000 for tax year 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13, with refunds paid based on reduced assessments.

The resolution takes effect immediately.

Based upon the agreed reduced assessed values, the district owes Indeck $54,826 for the 2009 assessment year; $47,222 for the 2010 assessment year; $126,880 for the 2011 assessment year; and $29,483 for the 2012 assessment year.

The reduced assessed value “shall not be changed for the next three succeeding assessment rolls prepared on the basis of the city’s taxable status dates in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

There isn’t anything else pending, Crist said. But the district will be talking with Constellation again about the nuclear plants, he added.