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ICC’s $46.6M budget plan fits state levy cap

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KINDERHOOK—The Ichabod Crane School Board approved a $46.6 million proposed budget for the 2022-23 school year at a special meeting on April 12. The budget will go to voters on May 17, with three propositions on the ballot as well as the election of members to the board.

This budget proposal is a 6.4% increase from last year, but it is below the allowed tax levy at 2.3%. State aid was up this year, to about $18.7 million, an increase of about $2 million, and though there were increases in employee benefits and debt service, they would be offset by the aid.

District Business Manager Michael Brennan stressed throughout the meeting that the federal stimulus funds due to Covid are not included in the proposed budget.

The budget is one proposition on the ballot May 17 for district residents. The board is also asking for voters to approve a $443,926 bus proposition. The district plans to purchase 3 new 72-passenger buses and 1 new 29-passenger bus. There will also be a proposition to continue having a student non-voting member on the board, something that needs to be voted on every two years.

There are also three seats open on the board. Candidate petitions were due on April 18. The three vacancies are for three-year terms. Matthew Nelson, Jeffrey Ouellette and Elizabeth Phillips terms will all expire June 30.

On April 19, the district announced the candidates for the board. Mr. Nelson and Ms. Phillips are running for reelection along with Bill Schneider, Pat Schuler, Jim Antalek, Meghan Lafferty-Brown and Thomas Driscoll. Candidates prepared a biography or statement which will be posted on the district website, and a “Meet the Candidates Night” will be hosted by the Participatory Government Class in the High School Auditorium, as well as lived streamed, on May 9.

During the budget presentation on April 12, Mr. Brennan talked about the aid and the process of putting together the budget, which started in December with meetings with administrators and staff. This meeting was the fifth and final budget presentation. There will be a public hearing on May 3 at 7 p.m. in the Primary School Auditorium. The board currently meets in person and audience members can attend the meetings. The district also live streams the meetings on the district YouTube page. Information, agendas and minutes for meetings are on the district’s website at www.ichabodcrane.org/board-of-education/

There is also budget information and the budget presentations on the district website at www.ichabodcrane.org/district/budget/

The district election will be held May 17 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the high school gym. Residents are registered to vote in the school elections if they have: voted in a school election within the last four years and voted in a general election from the address in the district within the last four years.

Individuals may register to vote with the district clerk from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on school days at the Central Office, 2910 U.S. Route 9. An individual must be registered at least five days preceding an election in order to vote in that election.

According to the district website, in the interest of public safety due to the Covid-19 pandemic, absentee ballots are available to any registered voter in the district. This is in addition to residents who will be out of town or unable to vote in person because of illness or disability. Applications for absentee ballots can be obtained from the district clerk at the Central Office or can be downloaded from the district website.

The clerk must receive completed absentee ballot applications at least 7 days before the election—May 10—if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or the day before the election—May 16—if the ballot is to be delivered personally to the voter. The district clerk must receive completed absentee ballots no later than 5 p.m. on May 17.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email eteasdale@columbiapaper.com

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