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Proposed school budget goes to a vote Tuesday

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

GREENVILLE — Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to determine the fate of the proposed 2023-24 budget for the Greenville school district.

A public hearing was held May 2 with District Superintendent Michael Bennett presenting the proposed budget.

The proposed budget that will be on the ballot will be a $34,227,771 spending plan, an increase of $530,329, or 1.57%, compared to the current year.

Of the total budget, $18,187,970 would be raised by taxes, an increase of $438,414, or 2.47%, over the current year’s tax levy.

The proposed tax levy increase of 2.47%  is below the state tax cap for the Greenville district, which is 2.51%. The tax cap varies from year to year and is dependent on a complex formula calculated by the state.

Bennett said district officials worked hard to keep the tax levy increase below the cap.

“We feel pretty good about where we’re at in this with everything that is going on in our community, in our state and in our country, with the cost of everything going up,” Bennett said.

The proposed budget does not include a reduction in programs or curriculum content, and there are no staffing cuts.

“One of the things that we were really looking to do was to keep programs and curriculum where it is,” Bennett said. “We don’t want to be taking away from what we are able to offer our kids so maintaining what we’re able to do is important to us.”

The proposed budget also includes the purchase of a snow removal scraper system for the district’s bus fleet.

“Up to this point, it’s been manual work to get the snow off,” Bennett said. “This scraper system will help speed up that process and help keep some of our folks safe as they work to remove the snow.”

At the polls Tuesday, voters will also cast ballots on the two public library budgets in the district, Bennett said.

The Greenville Public Library is asking for an additional $500 in their budget compared to last year, for a total proposed budget of $43,900.

The Rensselaerville Public Library is requesting an additional $575 in the coming year, for a total proposed budget of $29,333.

If either of the library budgets is defeated at the polls, they would revert to the current budget for 2023-24.

Also on the ballot will be a resolution for the district to purchase two vans with a five-year serial bond not to exceed $195,736. The purchase is part of the district’s ongoing bus replacement plan.

“Our mechanics keep our buses well maintained but as you can imagine, there is a lot of travel across the school district with a lot of towns, so even though we’ve maintained our buses, we need to replace some of our older ones,” Bennett said.

Three candidates are also vying for two open seats on the Greenville Board of Education. They are, in the order they will appear on the ballot, Kelly Hubicki, Robert Pondiscio and Eric Herbstritt. Herbstritt is an incumbent running for re-election; Hubicki and Pondiscio are newcomers.

The budget vote and election will take place on Tuesday, May 16, from 1-9 p.m., at the Scott M. Ellis Elementary School cafeteria, 11219 State Route 32, in Greenville.

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