Voters to eye budgets

Area school districts will find out Tuesday if voters support their proposed budgets for 2014-15.

Officials with local school districts said while each district is unique, all are looking to provide quality educational services for children in each community.

The Gloversville Enlarged School District is proposing a $61.7 million budget for 2014-15 that includes a tax-levy increase of 1.66 percent.

District officials said the budget calls for a spending increase of 5.4 percent, or about $3.1 million.

The tax-levy increase would be $228,201, which would be below the state-imposed tax cap set for the Gloversville district. The total levy is $14 million. State aid will cover 64.5 percent of the 2014-15 budget.

The proposal would bring new technology to the district, such as wireless internet in the buildings. If voters approve the budget, the district said it will ramp up its literacy efforts, buy equipment for its middle school pre-engineering program and offer business and marketing courses in the high school to better prepare students for college and careers.

The district has changed the polling places to Gloversville High School and the Bleecker Town Hall. Residents who previously voted at the elementary schools will vote in the GHS gymnasium and polling hours have been expanded by five hours, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Johnstown

The voters of the Greater Johnstown School District will head to the polls to cast their vote on the proposed $30.3 million budget.

The spending plan, which increases appropriations by 1.5 percent and contains a tax-levy increase of 2.47 percent, below the state-imposed tax cap. The tax levy would increase from $7.56 million to $7.75 million for the next school year.

School officials said the proposed budget enhances district art, music and athletic programs, enhances teacher supplies and maintains all current programs.

The district’s budget, adopted April 10 by the school board, will be voted on from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Johnstown High School and the Ephratah Volunteer Fire Department.

Fonda-Fultonville

Fonda-Fultonville Central School District voters will have the opportunity to vote on a capital project and budget.

The $19.8 million project would be the district’s first capital project in 10 years and would cover a wide range of repairs and improvements in the district’s facilities, district officials said.

The project is projected to increase the tax rate by 53 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value beginning in 2016. According to information from the district, that equates to $3 or less per month for the average district taxpayer with property valued at $75,000.

The proposed project includes items such as upgrading fire alarm systems, adding climate control to classrooms, increasing computer bandwidth, roof repairs and replacing the grandstand seating/press box, neither of which are up to the current building code.

Also up for vote is the district’s $24.94 million proposed budget for the 2014-15 school year.

The proposed budget has a 2.4 percent spending increase and has a 1.75 percent tax-levy increase.

According to information from the district, the proposal has the lowest proposed tax-levy increase in the district in about eight years.

The district will not use any of its $1.3 million reserve fund in the budget proposed for 2014-15.

Voting will be held between noon and 9 p.m. at the Fonda-Fultonville High School auditorium at 112 Old Johnstown Road.

OESJ

The Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District Board of Education adopted a proposed $18.5 million budget that, if approved, would reduce the tax levy for district residents.

The $18.5 million budget plan for 2014-15 has a tax levy of about $4.8 million, which reflects a 1 percent reduction from 2013-14. The proposed budget would increase academic support for students and set aside $500,000 in the district’s Tax Relief Reserve Fund to help stabilize future tax rates, a news release said.

The proposed budget carries a year-to-year spending increase of 2.3 percent, the release said, which is the result of one-time expenditures that will not need to be repeated in the 2015-16 budget.

According to the district website, polls will be open from noon to 8 p.m. St. Johnsville area residents will vote at the D.H. Robbins Elementary School and Oppenheim-Ephratah area residents will vote at the OESJ Elementary/Middle School.

Northville

The Northville Central School District school board is asking voters to approve a 2014-15 school budget that breaks the state’s property tax cap.

According to a news release, the school board approved a $10.6 million 2014-15 spending plan that increases spending 3.24 percent from the current school year and will require a tax levy increase of more than 1.12 percent.

Northville’s tax cap for 2014-15 is 1.12 percent, but Superintendent Debra Lynker said the tax levy may need to increase 3.8 percent.

At current estimates, the 2014-15 tax levy may need to increase by between $126,000 and $212,000, to a total of $5.8 million.

Officials said Northville will not be able to maintain adequate services for the 2014-15 school year without the tax-levy increase.

The proposed budget would add a part-time Spanish teacher, a teaching assistant, a computer information officer, extra-curricular stipends, and a junior varsity softball and baseball league, along with reinstating modified softball and baseball.

HFM BOCES Superintendent Patrick Michel said 60 percent of school budget voters will need to vote in favor of the proposed budget for it to pass.

District voters will be able to cast their vote from 12 to 8 p.m. in the gymnasium.

Broadalbin-Perth

The Broadalbin-Perth Board of Education has adopted a 2014-15 school budget proposal that calls for a tax-levy increase of 2.14 percent, or $284,802.

According to information from the district, the proposed tax-levy increase is equal to its tax-levy cap.

The proposed $31.5 million budget calls for a 4.8 percent spending increase and the expansion of several programs that would provide more opportunities for students in science, technology, engineering, the arts and math – aka STEAM – the release said.

The proposed budget would expand STEAM offerings at the intermediate and middle schools, and add an after-school robotics competition program.

The budget also includes funding for a new position, director of curriculum and instruction/grant coordinator.

Residents will be able to cast their ballot from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the high school and middle school gymnasiums.

Mayfield

Mayfield Central School District residents will vote on a $17.4 million proposal which has a tax levy increase of about 1.27 percent, or roughly $90,000.

The budget proposal would add reading programs, combined with academic intervention services, speech therapy and a full sports program.

The school budget vote will taken place from noon to 8 p.m. in the lobby of the high school gymnasium.

Votes on boards

Voters in local districts also will decide Tuesday on candidates for the school boards.