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Watkins Glen faces a $1.1M budget gap

WATKINS GLEN—After calculating the preliminary budget numbers, the Watkins Glen Central School District faces a $1.1 million gap in the upcoming 2013-14 school year.
Business Manager Gayle Sedlack calculated the total using the budget numbers released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week. She presented the information to the Watkins Glen school board, Tuesday, Jan. 22.
Superintendent Tom Phillips said the budget total is $24.219 million, exceeding the expected revenue by $1.1 million. Phillips explained $890,000 of the gap resulted from increases in the employer’s contribution to teacher retirement and healthcare.
Sedlack also reported the governor’s numbers indicate a 1.04 percent state aid reduction, equaling $130,391. Phillips compared this to the 2012-13 budget when the district faced an initial $2.3 million gap.
He added this is all using the district’s current budget numbers and without any cuts. Phillips said Watkins Glen hopes to cut into the gap partially through staff retirements. However, he added this is just the start of the budget process.
In other business:
• Board President Brian O’Donnell reported he met with Odessa-Montour Superintendent Jim Frame and Board President Debra Harrington on Jan. 16. The districts are reviewing the future of education in Schuyler County. O’Donnell said they would like to hold a meeting in February with both districts. He explained this is a fact finding exercise.
• Betty DeLong, Dawn Harrell, and Natasha Stiles were approved as school monitors. The board also accepted the resignation of Kristen Field as a monitor.
• The Chinese class trip to New York City was approved for Feb. 15 to 17.
The next Watkins Glen school board meeting will be Monday, Feb. 4. The regular session is expected to start at 6:30 p.m. following an executive meeting.






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