Silver Creek decides to offset levy

SILVER CREEK – The Silver Creek Board of Education recently made its decision on how much to offset the tax levy with its increased state aid.

The district received approximately $320,000 more than it had anticipated based on the Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget.

After its last public hearing on the budget, the board was left with a decision to make on how much to use to offset the amount to be raised by taxes.

Superintendent Daniel Ljiljanich and Business Administrator Cindy Mackowiak gave the board the figures if none, $20,000 or $40,000 were put toward the levy. The board was previously operating with the assumption of raising the levy to its tax cap of 2.76 percent after exclusions and carryover.

The board voted to put $40,000 toward the levy at its recent meeting, bringing the levy to $5,777,850 a 2.05 percent increase. This also reduced the district’s use of reserves and fund balance.

Board President Martha Howard explained the board made this decision because it is sensitive to the taxpayer’s burden.

“We understand how taxpayers struggle to make ends meet. Taxes are very expensive but we always try to be very aware of what we are doing. We try to keep the levy at the most responsible minimum, keeping in mind that the children’s education is most important. We felt like that was the most responsible thing to do. We are not always able to (reduce the levy) so we were happy to be able to do that this time,” she said.

The board will hold its final public hearing on the budget on May 13 at 7 p.m. in the high school library.

The budget vote is scheduled for May 20 from 1 to 9 p.m. in the high school lobby. Voters will also determine whether to use $108,987 from the capital vehicle reserve for a bus purchase and elect two board of education members.

The board also approved the permanent appointments of cleaners Katelin Adamczak and Amanda Miller and the appointment of Wayne Lewis and Emily DeCeilio as volunteers for track and softball respectively and Nancy Vaughn as a long-term substitute.

The tentative 2014-2015 Erie 2 BOCES administrative budget was approved in the amount of $2,852,064.

The board cast its ballot for the following individuals to serve on the BOCES Board of Education: Thomas DeJoe, Brocton Central; Thomas Fenton, Frewsburg Central; David Lowrey, Iroquois Central; Christine Schnars, Jamestown Public Schools; Richard Vogan, Lake Shore Central; and Sean Wittmann, Orchard Park Central.

The board also heard a presentation on the implementation of the Common Core curriculum in the district from comprehensive district education plan consultant Melodee Leone and a panel of teachers.

“I am not a teacher so it was great to hear them talk about how they were skeptical at first but they plunged into it and seem to be pleased with the results so far,” Howard said. “I feel bad that things get confused with the testing and the common core. The implementation was horrible, but you can’t throw out the good things about it.”