Penn Yan school adopts 2.5 levy increase
PENN YAN—The Penn Yan school board adopted the proposed 2013-14 budget containing a 2.54 percent tax levy increase during their meeting Wednesday, April 10. The total $32,648,597 budget is up 3.02 percent from last year’s budget. The district is using $1,348,000 in fund balance and reserves against the tax levy, while the tax rate will be increased 27 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The board will hold a public hearing on the budget Wednesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. in the Penn Yan elementary cafeteria, and it will be put up to a vote Tuesday, May 21 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Penn Yan middle school gymnasium.
According to the budget provided by Cathy Milliman, the school district had made three administrative cuts to this year’s budget, totaling a savings of $194,000. Jobs to be cut include an information technology (IT) director, a facilities director and a transportation supervisor position.
The board is also reducing the instructional staff by seven positions, with six due to enrollment and one due to retirement. Positions to be cut include a library clerk, three teachers assistants, one science teacher, one social studies teacher and one special education teacher for a total savings of $230,000.
Board member Cathy Guenther said she is still adamantly opposed to not rehiring the library clerk position for the sake of the children and school district. She said once the school gets rid of a position, they often will never get it back. Guenther also said she would not vote against this budget because of this issue “for the sake of our district.”
The budget also lists a $240,000 savings in the transportation department from trainings, routes and service contracts. The district also managed to save $220,610 by reducing supply, fees, utilities and equipment codes in all programs, schools and departments.
Increases in the district’s budget include the following:
• A $519,697 increase in instruction costs, up 4.84 percent, which include principals, clerical staff, teachers, teacher assistants, librarians, guidance counselors, school nurses, psychologists and social workers.
• A $519,482 increase in employee benefits, up 7.27 percent, which includes retirement, social security, worker’s compensation, unemployment insurance and health insurance.
• A $440,900 increase in debt service, up 11.1 percent, which includes principal and interest payments.
• A $5,152 increase for clubs and athletics, up 1 percent, which will fund 70 clubs and 45 teams.