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Odessa considers $544K salary cuts

ODESSA—The Odessa-Montour school board of education heard another update on the possible 2011-12 budget during the Thursday, March 3, workshop meeting, including a potential $544,233 cut from salaries.
Business Administrator Greg Dale reported on the current state of the possible budget. He said the O-M school district may have $14,821,623 in revenue for the upcoming school year and $16,018,802 in expenditures. This is based on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposals. He explained the revenue includes a two percent tax increase and estimated left over fund balances from the current school year. Dale also said the expenditures look to be a 10 percent increase over the current year; he attributed the jump to increasing fuels costs, health insurance, teacher retirement, debt service, etc.
“We have to stop and think about ways to make cuts,” he said.
Dale suggested reductions in two possible areas: $544,233 less in salary and $384,349 less in non-salary areas. The board went into executive session to discuss personnel and the possible salary cuts. Dale coupled those cuts with taking a combined $268,595 from the Employee Retirement System reserve and the debt service fund.
“We’re in pretty good shape,” said Dale, adding the district has healthy reserves. “I’m confident in making this recommendation to you.”
Superintendent Jim Frame explained this was the district’s current best estimate. He added there might be savings in renegotiating of contracts and health insurance plans.
Frame said the district needs to approve a budget by the March 31 meeting. Residents vote in May on the final budget.



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