The 2018/19 Onteora Central School District budget public hearing was sparsely attended at the May 1 Board of Education meeting at Woodstock Elementary School. Assistant Superintendent for Business Monica LaClair presented the $55,557,578 one last time before the May 15 district board election and budget vote. The current 2018 budget of $54,296,155 will have an increase in spending of 2.36 percent, or $1,281,423. The proposed 2018/19-tax levy of $42,571,819 is a 2.98 percent increase compared to the 2017 levy of $41,338,014. It is below this year’s state allowable levy increase of 3.63 percent. Two elementary teacher positions and one teaching assistant position will be eliminated through retirement.
A fund balance contribution of $2,535,620 would also be added to the coffers to help offset the tax levy. Additionally, $730,000 will be taken from the fund balance to pay for new bleachers and a press box at the football field.
“Knowing that the time line is very tight, we are going to be getting it up to [State Education Department] as soon as possible,” LaClair said, “with the hope of being able to do it next summer.” The current press box and bleachers will be taken down and completely replaced and will include access for the disabled. Attached to it is a rider for repairs on the High School roof and doors. This is so the district will be eligible for a State aid refund since it’s considered construction while the press box and bleachers are not. On the ballot will also be a special proposition to purchase two buses at a combined amount of $175,000.