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Watkins school budget tax levy increasing .75 percent

WATKINS GLEN—The Watkins Glen school district has proposed the 2009-10 budget, for vote May 19.
Spending in the proposed budget is $23,324,902, up 1.76 percent from the current budget.  The 2008-09 budget was $22,920,786.  If the proposed budget is voted down, the contingency budget is $23,126,902.  The tax levy is increasing .75 percent.  
The budget is broken down to administrative, program and capital.  Spending in all three areas increased.  In administrative, spending went from $2,677,827 to $2,697,892.  Administrative includes business office operations, personnel,  and legal and auditing services.  The largest increase was for supervision of regular school, from $549,284 to $627,991.  Curriculum development and supervision was the largest decrease from $205,675 to $137,816.  Employee benefits went down from $380,025 to $375,262.  The superintendent’s salary is $124,800 with $20,720 in benefits.
The program component of the budget increased from $14,966,583 to $15,128,943.  Program includes funding for instruction and educational support.  There were no decreases in this part of the budget.  The largest increase was in employee benefits, from $4,052,688 to $4,155,102.
For the capital portion of the budget, the increase was from $5,276,374 to $5,498,067.  Capital includes maintenance of the schools, upkeep of property, and for electricity, gas heat, water and sewer, and telephone services.  The only decrease in this area is maintenance of the plant, from $590,972 to $573,573.  The biggest increase was for debt service, $3,074,654 to $3,241,707.  Employee benefits increase from $309,617 to $355,216.
Gayle Sedlack, district treasurer, explained that the new health insurance policy the district is using also saved around $300,000.  She added it was also cheaper for employees, with only a slight interest in the co-pay for prescription drugs.
The school’s revenue also increased, from $22,920,786 to $23,324,902.
Voting will take place at the district office lobby in the Watkins Glen High School 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., May 19.

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