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Saturday, August 15, 2020

Top Stories > Education

Reduced Monticello CSD budget up for vote

Jul 20, 2020

By Matt Shortall - co-editor

By: MATT SHORTALL | DEMOCRAT
On Tuesday, July 28, from noon until 8 p.m. qualified voters in the Monticello Central School District will decide on a budget that is $336,975 less than the one defeated in June and $694,058 less than the 2019-2020 budget.
MONTICELLO — Voters in the Monticello Central School District will head to the polls next week to vote on a $90.5 million budget that Board of Education members say reduces expenditures while maintaining all current programs for Monticello's students.
Last month, residents rejected the original proposed budget which was $90,870,000 with a 1.89 percent tax levy increase. There were 1,327 votes against the budget and 1,244 in favor. The district is permitted to hold a revote on Tuesday, July 28, from noon until 8 p.
m., in accordance with the Governor's Executive Order 202.47.
“The Board of Education and administration are proposing a reduced budget from the one adopted in 2019-20, and the one previously proposed in June," Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew Evans explained.
The new proposed 2020-21 budget is $90,533,025 (a reduction of 0.76 percent from 2019-20), and includes a tax levy increase of 1.12 percent from 2019-20.
If approved, the new budget would allow the district to acquire new buses and a driver's education car, maintain their current vehicles and there would be no cuts to student programs.
“We are also preparing for additional expenses related to the fall opening of schools under coronavirus restrictions, such as physical distancing measures and enhanced cleaning protocols,” Evans went on to say. “The Governor has repeatedly warned of additional, mid-year cuts in state aid. This proposed budget was developed with these needs, and those of our community members, in mind."
If the budget is defeated again on July 28, Monticello's Board of Education would have to adopt a contingency budget for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. Under a contingency budget, the district says they'd be forced to eliminate all non-contingent expenses, including certain supplies and any equipment. Furthermore, the district says an inability to purchase equipment would delay their scheduled vehicle repair and replacement schedule, likely making these purchases more costly in the future.
In addition, the district would be unable to offer its facilities to any outside organization, eliminating many district-community partnerships, including programming at the St. John Street Community HUB and youth athletic programs.
“Our initial budget proposal in June included reductions in positions due to attrition, retirement and reorganization, as well as reductions in services such as transportation and grant writing," said Assistant Superintendent for Business Lisa Failla.
“Altogether, that initial budget was $357,073 less than last year's budget,” she continued. “We worked diligently to reduce another $336,975 to present our voters with a budget that is nearly $700,000 less than last year's, and that prevents a revenue shortfall that could impact our district for years to come.”
There are five polling locations for the July 28 budget vote. The district said the number of locations has been temporarily condensed due to the Rock Hill Fire Hall and Forestburgh Town Hall being unavailable for public use.
The polling locations are as follows:
District 1: Thompson and Monticello - Robert J. Kaiser Middle School
District 2: Bethel - Cornelius Duggan Community Center
District 3: Mamakating - Emma C. Chase Elementary School
District 4: Rock Hill - Robert J. Kaiser Middle School
District 5: Forestburgh - Robert J. Kaiser Middle School

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