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Penn Yan sees $3.3M budget gap

    PENN YAN—The budget process for the 2012-13 school year will not be easier than the current year’s numbers. Penn Yan Central School District Assistant (PYSCD) Superintendent of Business Doug Tomandl presented preliminary figures on enrollment, expenses, and revenue during the meeting of the district board of education on Wednesday, Dec. 7.
    The budget for this year is $31,305,639. Early projections are that the 2012-13 budget would reach $34,073,737. Tomandl emphasized this figure includes all costs. During the budget process, many items are cut or reduced. One of many challenges is the continuing drop in state aid revenue. Tomandl said tax increases correlate with the loss in state aid. One major revenue item that is expected to drop is the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) for AES Greenridge. The plant closed several months ago and is renegotiating their PILOT. Taking all items in account, Tomandl said the gap projection is $3,320,712.
    The public budget forum that was scheduled during the meeting was cancelled because the district does not have information from New York State regarding funding.
    In other business: The board authorized spending up to $600,000 for additions to and reconstructing of existing facilities at the elementary school. The funds remain from the $26 million capital improvement project approved by district voters in March 1999. The money will be used for removal and replacement of existing playground facilities and installation of new bleachers. Other work includes renovation of existing classroom toilet rooms and abatement of asbestos containing materials.
    Tomandl and Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Staff Development Howard Dennis presented the reconfiguration study results. Last spring, a committee of administrators, faculty, staff, parents, students and community members began to meet to study the possibility of reconfiguring the three buildings. Both positive and negative aspects of each one were studied. The proposals ranged from leaving grades in buildings they currently are to closing the middle school building. In a statement made after the school board meeting on Friday, Dec. 9, Superintendent of Schools Dave Hamilton said in a memorandum, “the Board of Education has not reviewed or come to any decision regarding the reconfiguration of the district. A decision of that importance will require much more time, discussion, and research in the coming months before the Board is prepared to act.”
    Among those who took part in the reconfiguration survey were PYSCD parents, students, and staff, and members of the community. In all, there were 299 responses to the survey. Of those 299 participants, 100 were parents, 79 students, 150 staff, 88 community members, and 10 defined as “Other.” Tomandl pointed out that respondents had to sign in to a system to take the survey, which only allowed them in it one time.
    Hamilton also reported Tomandl announced his resignation, effective Jan. 1, 2012. Tomandl has accepted a position as Weedsport Central Schoo District.
    “It has been an absolute pleasure to be here. It is really tough to leave a place where you enjoy being at,” Tomandl said.
    Rodger Lewis will serve as interim business administrator. Lewis, who served the district in this capacity prior to Tomandl, will work with the district though the budget and search process.
    Nine high school students were recognized as Penn Yan Academy (PYA) Students of the Month for November. Recipients of the award were ninth graders Heather Conklin and Tyler Bray, 10th graders Lynette Smith and Shane Bloom, 11th graders Brittany Griffin, Alyssa Broome and Kevin McMahon; and 12th graders Chanel Mieszala and Derrick Fleishman.
    “This is a great group of students from all walks of life,” said PYA principal Dave Pullen. “You have a group of kids who are respectful in so many aspects.”
    The nine students receive certificates for their commitment to being community leaders. Pullen explained that this is not a traditional academic award that honors the students who receive the best grades. Instead, it is meant to commend well-rounded students.




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