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Penn Yan approves 2011-12 budget

PENN YAN—The 2011-12 budget for the Penn Yan Central School District equals $31,305,639.
The figure was approved by the board of education during their regular meeting Wednesday, March 30. An additional proposition includes year two of a multi-year bus lease for two 65-passenger school buses at a cost not to exceed $68,000 per year.
Voting on the budget, proposition and three year terms for members of the board of education will be from noon until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17. The vote will take place in the Middle School on Liberty Street.
Prior to adoption of the budget, Assistant Superintendent for Business Douglas Tomandl, presented the final budget review.  In February, the budget of $33,897,326 reflected a gap of $4.1 million. This would have increased the tax levy by 26 percent. By mid-February,  cuts of $1.5 million were made and revenue of $1.1 million was identified. The resulting gap was $1.4 million. The new tax levy was 9.5 percent.
On March 9, additional cuts of $1 million were identified, leaving a gap of $451,227. This resulted in a budget of $31,305,639 and a tax levy increase of 2.88 percent. Cuts included staff, equipment and supplies across the board, according to Tomandl. The comparison of budgets from the current one with the proposed 2011-12 budget shows a decrease of $340,070 or 1.07 percent. Tomandl also reviewed five year enrollment versus staffing. In 2007-08 there were 1,856 students and 420 staff. Proposed in 2011-12 is 1,640 students and 361.55 staff. Tomandl said the district lost 11.64 percent of students since 2007-08. Staff declined over 14 percent in the same period.
Goals were also outlined, including maintaining a stable and affordable tax levy and keeping budget to budget increases under three percent. The five year average is 4.04 percent. Currently Penn Yan Central School District has the lowest tax rate per $1,000 of  true valuation in this BOCES district, at $9.97. The highest in this BOCES district is $28.6 per $1,000.
Tomandl outlined a contingent budget. This would be triggered if the proposed budget failed and a second vote was unsuccessful. That amount would be $32,181,543. The difference in the two budgets is $260,924. Equipment, non essential student supplies and community use of facilities would be impacted. The tax levy would go up 1.21 percent under a contingent budget.
In other business:
• During his report to the board, Interim Superintendent of Schools Tom Cox spoke about the difficulty of preparing the budget for the upcoming school year. Referring to the budget, Cox said, “We have all worked hard to develop this budget which reflects reduced funding, declines in enrollment and staffing and is respectful of the economic challenges of our community.” Cox noted the board of education is supporting a study with the Dundee and Marcus Whitman Central School Districts. The consolidation study that will explore efficiencies in many areas. A preschool census will be conducted to gain a good understanding of the district’s enrollment trends. A reconfiguration study will  gather information and make recommendations about the future of the middle school building.
• Approved a donation from Kathleen and Scott Peterson for HUBBBA Community Service Day.  Board member Nancy Scher commended community members and organizations who donate to school projects throughout the year. Scher reminded people the district is in need of musical instruments and encouraged donation of new or used instruments.
The next meeting of the Penn Yan Central School District board of education will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27 in the elementary school cafeteria.



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