After weeks, even months, of preparation, each school district in Eastern Niagara County has adopted a budget for the 2012-13 school year. Now it’s up to the voters, who will render their verdict on May 15.
Each budget features a rise in the tax levy, although none will exceed the new property tax cap. Barker will raise taxes for the first time in four years, while the district as well as Royalton-Hartland and Lockport will offer levies below their limits.
Combined, the budgets will lead to 13 layoffs. A big chunk of retiring employees will not be replaced. State aid is slated to go up for all districts, expect for Roy-Hart.
Here’s a look at some of the budget highlights, along with the public hearing dates.
BUDGET: $79.8 million, a spending increase of $894,791 or 1.13 percent compared to the current school year.
TAX LEVY: The budget will take $34.6 million from taxpayers, at an increase of 1.5 percent, or $512,000, below the legal limit of 2.28 percent.
STATE AID: About $38 million, roughly $1 million more than the current school year.
PERSONNEL: No layoffs, but seven of 15 retirements will not be replaced. One retirement is an administrator.
PUBLIC HEARING: 7 p.m. May 2, at the district office, 130 Beattie Ave.
VOTING TIMES: Noon until 9 p.m. May 15.
POLLING LOCATIONS: City residents in the 1st election district will vote at Washington Hunt Elementary, 50 Rogers Ave.; 2nd election district residents will vote at the Board of Education building, 130 Beattie Ave. Residents of the 3rd election district will cast a ballot at Anna Merritt Elementary, 389 Green St.; while 4th election district residents will vote at Charles A. Upson Elementary, 28 Harding Ave.; and 5th election residents will vote at Roy B. Kelley Elementary, 610 East High St. All resident in the Towns of Lockport, Cambria and Pendleton will vote at the high school, 250 Lincoln Ave.
BUDGET: $19.4 million, about $200,000 more in spending when compared to the current school year.
TAX LEVY: The budget will raise about $3.7 million from taxes, about 2.9 percent or $106,558 more than the 2011-12 year. That’s less than the 31.6 percent tax limit, also it’s the first time Barker is raising taxes in four years.
STATE AID: Barker will receive $6.7 million in aid, about 3.53 percent more than the current year. Also, the district will receive a PILOT of $7.5 million from AES.
PERSONNEL: More because of the decline in student enrollment, Barker will have six layoffs.
RESERVES: Barker will use $350,000 from its fund balance, as well as $55,000 from its debt service reserve and $90,000 from its retirement reserve. The district will also use $546,000 from its PILOT reserve.
PUBLIC HEARING: 7 p.m. May 2 at the Herbert Ludwig Fine Arts Hall, 1628 Quaker Road.
VOTING TIMES: Noon until 8 p.m. at the fine arts hall.
BUDGET: $32.9 million, a $1.4 million or 4.55 percent increase in spending.
TAX LEVY: About $12.5 million will be brought in from taxes, roughly $260,000 or 2.11 percent more than the current school year. That is Newfane’s tax cap limit.
STATE AID: Newfane will receive $16.3 million in aid, about $618,000 or 3.9 percent more than the 2011-12 year.
PERSONNEL: There will be one layoff at the elementary school. A number of positions will be reduced, although where they’ll be is unknown at this point. Kindergarten will go to a three quarter day.
RESERVES: Newfane will use a total of $3.5 million from its reserves, about $311,684 more than this year. The appropriated fund balance use will be reduced to $1.9 million, down from $3.2 million.
PUBLIC HEARING: 7 p.m. May 1 at the Newfane Early Childhood Center, 6048 Godfrey Road.
VOTING TIMES: From 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. May 15 at the elementary school on Transit Road.
BUDGET: $22 million, about $500,000 or 2 percent less in spending.
TAX LEVY: The levy will increase about 2 percent, which is less than the district’s cap of 2.46 percent.
STATE AID: $11.2 million, about $281,000 less than the current year.
PERSONNEL: No layoffs, but six retirements that will not be replaced. The district will cut BOCES home instruction and see savings in receiving a lower teacher retirement system rate than expected.
RESERVES: Roy-Hart will use about $278,133 from its reserves.
PUBLIC HEARING: 7 p.m. May 3 at the high school, 54 State St., Middleport.
VOTING TIMES: Noon until 8 p.m. at the high school.
BUDGET: $45.3 million, a 1 percent or $500,000 increase in spending.
TAX LEVY: About $25 million will come from taxpayers, $750,000 or 3.09 percent more than the current school year. That is Starpoint’s cap.
STATE AID: Starpoint is slated to receive $17.8 million.
PERSONNEL: No layoffs, but four retirements will not be replaced.
RESERVES: Starpoint will increase the use of its appropriated fund balance by $100,000 to $1.3 million.
PUBLIC HEARING: 7:20 p.m. May 1 at the district office, 4363 Mapleton Road.
VOTING TIMES: 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. in the middle school gym.
BUDGET: $23.4 million, about $63,000 or .3 percent increase in spending.
TAX LEVY: The district will bring in $10.8 million from taxes, which is 2.7 percent, Wilson’s tax cap.
STATE AID: Wilson will receive $11.1 million, about $280,000 more than the current school year.
PERSONNEL: There will be 6.5 layoffs as well as three retirements that will not be replaced.
PUBLIC HEARING: 7 p.m. May 8 at the high school, 374 Lake St.
VOTING TIMES: 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. at the Zipp gym behind the high school.
Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.