The Onteora Central School District Board of Education unanimously adopted a $59.99 million budget with a 1.29 percent tax levy increase. Voters will decide on the spending plan and choose three trustees on May 17.
The $59,991,639 budget proposal represents a $1,207,496 increase, or 2.054 percent over the current $58,784,143 spending plan. A ballot proposition will ask voters for permission to use $675,000 to abate deteriorating asbestos floor tiles throughout the district.
The spending plan includes the use of $2,962,206 from the fund balance to offset the tax levy. An additional $750,000 will be moved from the fund balance to offset the cost of work on exterior doors at Phoenicia and Woodstock elementary schools and sidewalks, steps and ramps at Phoenicia.
The district proposes to spend $165,000 in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds for a generator at Bennett Elementary, $550,000 in ARP funds for a generator at the Middle/Senior High School, and $1.995 million in ARP and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) funds to renovate Middle and Senior High classrooms.
The budget proposal also calls for a transfer of $802,142 from the General Fund to install high ropes courses at the schools.
The 2022-23 budget increases summer school funding to address academic support needed following the 2021-22 school year — the first year students returned to full-time in-person instruction after learning remotely due to COVID quarantines. It also increases spending for mental health support and after-school homework help.
The district has also included money for the purchase of a snow plow and a new school bus.
Instruction accounts for the largest part of the proposed budget at 47.84 percent and comes to $48,287,095. Employee benefits make up 31.91 percent. Transportation is 8.43 percent, operations and maintenance is 5.72 percent, general support is 3.58 percent and debt service is 2.52 percent.
The projected tax levy is $46,146,126, an increase of 1.29 percent or $589,000.
State aid is projected at $10,297,206, an increase of 4.83 percent or $474,028.
If voters reject the budget, the district can propose a new set of numbers, or the same budget for a June 14 vote. The board would also have the option of adopting a contingency budget in which the tax levy would be the same as the 2021-22 year. If a new proposed budget is defeated a second time, the contingency budget is required.
Voting will be May 17 at Bennett, Phoenicia and Woodstock schools from 2-9 p.m.