Cassadaga Valley examines proposed budget

SINCLAIRVILLE – The final proposed budget was presented to the Cassadaga Valley Central School Board of Education this week.

New items presented in the budget included a new softball field and additional programs coming to the school.

“There is a large amount of kids who want to get into the program (softball),” Business Administrator Debra McAvoy said. “Construction will began in July to build a new field.”

The additional cost added to the budget due to the field is $25,000.

A request was made to make the elementary music and high school art teacher positions to full-time.

Interim Superintendent Thomas Schmidt elaborated on this request.

“We would like to have music theory as a class, sixth-grade vocal lessons and band lessons,” he said. “We want to add several art classes, including two college-level drawing classes.”

Some new and some old programs were mentioned that would be considered for the next school year; among these were drama/film, creative writing, study skills, criminal justice and robotics.

More and more teachers are interested in teaching new classes and these new programs will allow them to do that.

“We are trying to expand electives so students have more choices,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt believes there may be more state aid heading to the schools.

“We might see a little more money,” he said. “This would mean less money raised in taxes.”

McAvoy spoke of the importance of a reserve fund for capital projects.

“We need to establish a capital reserve fund, a savings account for capital projects,” she said. “We would be close to zero tax impact for taxpayers this way.”

The reserve would be good for 10 years with a maximum amount to be placed in it to establish it for voters to authorize.

Vice-President Jeanne Oag wanted to know if the reserve could be sustained if agreed upon.

“We will be OK,” McAvoy said. “We don’t have a lot of extra.”

Schmidt addressed the GAP elimination adjustment.

“We want to be able to move forward comfortably and remove the GAP elimination adjustment by next year,” he said.

The total revenue as it stands is $20,093,000. The fund balance is $143,000; reserves, $100,000; real property tax levy, $5,181,912; refunds, $110,000; Medicaid, $99,952; and state aid is $14,420,636.

Considered transfers before June 30 are as follows: current fund balance is $3,672,223; transfer from committed to unassigned is $448,305; transfer to capital revenue with voter approval, $500,000; transfer to retirement reserve, $650,000; transfer to school lunch fund, $150,000; transfer to unemployment reserve, $51,216; transfer from EBLAR reserve, $106,598; use of retirement reserve, $100,000; which makes the anticipated reserves and fund balance $2,922,223.

The budget needs to be adopted by the board by the April 7 board meeting.

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