Cassadaga Valley announces ‘14-’15 school budget proposal

GERRY – The Cassa-daga Valley Central School District Board of Education recently adopted the 2014-2015 budget in the amount of $20,093,000.

This represents an increase of $125,302, which represents a .006 percent hike from the 2013-2014 budget.

The budget plan increases two part-time teaching positions to full-time, allowing the high school to offer more elective courses for students.

With the cooperation of the Cassadaga Valley Faculty Association, there are some new course offerings that offer opportunities for academic growth for students. Courses will be instructed by the current high school teaching staff.

The district has been able to keep budget increases at a minimum through savings achieved by the retirements of eight veteran teachers over the last 18 months.

Over the past several years, many positions within the district have been eliminated due to decreases in New York State Aid, due to Gap Elimination Adjustments. This year, school officials said they are fortunate to have had increases in state aid, which help with the total revenue budget.

As part of a recent audit from the New York State Comptroller’s Office, district fund balance and reserves were discussed as part of the budget work sessions. Recommendations were made to the Board of Education to make transfers at year-end to address some of the comptroller’s concerns.

As part of the budget process, the board of education established a capital improvements reserve fund with a limit of $800,000, which will act as a savings account for future capital projects and lessen the taxpayer impact for the local share of projects. The board also adopted fund balance and reserve policies.

The board of education also reduced the proposed tax levy amount by $30,000 for local taxpayers through the budget process. This will bring the tax levy increase to 1.08 percent, with the permissible allowable amount by law being 1.46 percent for 2014-2015; the total increase in the levy will be $53,632.

A budget hearing will be held on May 12 immediately following the regular board of education meeting.