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Dundee plans April budget vote

DUNDEE—The Dundee Central School District board of education continued to pare costs of the 2011-12 budget at the monthly meeting, Thursday, March 24.
Board President Joseph  Capurso said this was the third session but not the last. The budget is scheduled to be approved at the next meeting, April 6.
Capurso said the budget increase has been cut from 10.2 percent to .4 percent. One of the most difficult items involves athletic teams because Section V has to agree on what to cut.
Cutting either fall or winter cheerleading was proposed.  District Clerk Melody Clark said the majority participate in both seasons. One reason cuts are considered in cheerleading is the cost of the program. Superintendent Kathy Ring said those costs are mainly for travel to competitions. No decision was made on this cut. Ring said athletic team reductions would save $23,000. She added, “It is a very difficult time for athletic directors to decide.”
Wellness Center equipment was also discussed. District Business Manager Melissa Lawson said the district is dealing with two decisions. The first is a user fee for community members to use the facility. Lawson recommended holding off on a decision on this proposal to give an opportunity to do more ground work. Replacement of equipment was discussed. Earlier in the budget process there had been talk of leasing equipment.
Moving to outdoor concerns, the board discussed the need for a tractor. Board Vice President James Koehler said he would not buy one under these conditions. Lawson said the current tractor is very heavy. This will be a problem when the new track is finished. Lawson added, “there are very valid reasons for doing it this year. It will also have a fork lift and loader.” Lawson said she believes buildings and grounds Director Bruce Kendall did his homework to find the best machine. Ring said the district has reduced staff, adding, “If we have poor equipment too, it will take longer to do everything.”
Staffing cuts were discussed. A third guidance counselor position at the middle school was discussed for a possible cut.  This year that counselor works with approximately 50 students.
Buses were the next topic. Koehler said there are lots of unknowns in the budget. He said if there was a surplus from this year’s budget it would be a great place to buy a bus. He said removing the bus may be the best way to manage district funds.  Capurso suggested putting up a proposal for a bus purchase reserve fund.  Bus purchases are state aidable at 90 percent. This is paid over five years. 



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