LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid Central School District's board passed a $17.6 million school budget Tuesday, April 8, sending it to voters to make the final decision May 20.
All five of the school board members who were present voted yes. Herb Stoerr and Patricia Gallagher were absent.
The budget proposes to raise the tax levy by 2.09 percent, and that same percentage is also the district's tax cap. The total tax levy - the amount of the budget to be raised from local property taxes - is estimated to be $14,498,512.
Lake Placid school board President Mary Dietrich speaks prior to voting on the next school year’s budget. (Photo — Matthew Turner)
The state Legislature gave the school district an extra $56,000 in state aid over what had been in the governor's budget. The total state aid the district will receive is $2.5 million - about 14 percent of the 2014-15 budget.
There will be two public hearings before the public vote: May 6 in Wilmington and May 13 in Lake Placid.
Mary Dietrich, president of the school board, said the community has been very quiet about the budget. There were sets of advisory groups set up for parents, teachers and the community by the school board.
"The groups gave us feedback on the community," Dietrich said.
No members of the public were present at the budget's passing Tuesday.
District Superintendent Roger Catania said the school will reduce four or five positions, which is the equivalent of 3.1 full-time employees.
"Some of those were through attrition (retirements), some not," Catania said.
Catania said the final budget did not look "tremendously different" than at earlier budget workshop meetings and there has been pressure to stay within the tax cap.
"We feel like by staying within the tax cap, the community will support this budget," Catania said.
Catania said the most significant change from budget workshops was special education cost reductions. The district will now hire its own special education teaching assistants instead of contracting for them through the Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
"The cost of those teacher's aides we were contracting out for were, in fact, more than the cost of our own staffing," Catania said. "What we were able to do is replace some contractor positions."
The biggest increases in expense for the district were from teacher's retirement and health care, he said.