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Penn Yan has $2.5M budget gap

PENN YAN—A gap of $2.5 million in expenses over revenue in the budget for 2010-11 is facing the Penn Yan Central School District. During a budget presentation Feb. 10, board of education members received the first review of expenditures from Assistant Superintendent for Business Doug Tomandl. He outlined the categories of expenditures, comparing the current budget to next year’s proposed budget. While some categories contained modest increases, others were significantly higher. Debt service would increase from $3,798,968 to $5,051,204, reflecting the beginning of debt service for the current capital project at the Academy.
Employee benefits are a significant portion of the budget and the proposed budget contains a total of $5,667,959, an increase of $739,959.
Instruction Regular School totals $8,321,728 as compared to $7,785,703 in the current budget. The Transportation budget is up due in part to the fact that no new buses were purchased in the 2009-10 budget year and must be purchased next year, contributing to the $338,392 increase.
The total expenditures and revenues for 2009-10 were $31,109,611. The expenditures proposed at this time for the 2010-11 budget are $33,859,530 and revenue, $30,805,235. The gap is $3,054,295 and assumes a zero percent tax increase. If a 3.5 percent tax increase is assumed, the gap is $2,524,137.
After Tomandl completed his presentation, he told the board, “the leadership team wants to know what tax increase would be acceptable. They don’t think a zero percent increase is possible and wants to know what you want. If the governor’s proposals go through we have a very, very large number we need to address.”
Superintendent of Schools Ann Orman said, “We need some direction. We’re looking at cuts in positions.” Board member Ryan Hallings noted, “It’s a people industry and we have negotiated contracts.” Board member Mike VanWormer added, “With that, the only option is reduction. I’m hoping for attrition.” Board president Jeff Morehouse said one of the issues is the debt service coming on. VanWormer continued, “Even in tough times you can’t ignore capital needs. We have to look at things that must be done.”
Tomandl said, “We’re starting to look at all every area. The district as a whole has done a good job.”
In answer to the request for direction from the board of education, Morehouse said, “I think we should look at a 3.5 percent increase as the top end.” Member Anita Maroscher said she doesn’t think many organizations have to absorb health insurance increases and VanWormer added the district is locked into retirement benefits. He said, “Even with a change in negotiations for benefits and retirement it would be years. We’re locked into it. Nobody likes it, it’s not pleasant.” Orman said, “I think it gives some guidance. In the next two meetings you will have a better idea. A contingency budget is usually close to a proposed budget.” Tomandl said all will be revisited as well as the BOCES figures at the next board of education meeting on March 3.

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