Gowanda Board of Ed gives budget update

GOWANDA – The Go-wanda Board of Education is continuing to work on its budget. Superintendent Charles Rinaldi gave an update at the board meeting on the progress.

The board has held seven meetings thus far and compiled the results of a community survey to help complete the budget process. Rinaldi said that the rollover budget from last year will increase by 5 percent, which across the state is the norm. The rollover budget is currently at $27,509,086.

“Our rollover budgets, the budgets that are required to do business the following year, those budgets are automatically going up by 5 percent,” Rinaldi said.

He said that this budget is not the current budget being proposed by the board of education, as they continue to work on it. He said the state budget has also not been passed, so it is hard to predict what the amount will be.

Rinaldi said the state budget has not passed and state aid calculations aren’t complete but aid will be increasing just over 1 percent for Gowanda. While the funding is increasing, the amount is not nearly enough to help cover expenses, he said.

Another challenge facing the school district is the tax levy cap. Rinaldi described it as being “extremely challenging” since the tax cap can change, and is not necessarily set at 2 percent; it can go as high as 8 percent. The board, however, does not want to increase taxes that severely for residents. Rinaldi said between a declining revenue, the district is facing challenges on how to balance the budget and preserve education for the students.

“They have declining or stagnant revenue in other areas. (The board) does not want to be taxing the public in an exorbitant extent … so that’s a challenge,” he said.

The board will host a budget workshop today at 6 p.m. in the middle school library to continue work on the budget. All budget documents can be found on the district’s website at www.gowcsd.com under “2013-2014 Budget Information.”

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