Hamburg Area School District directors approve proposed final budget

Hamburg Area School Directors voted, 6-0, on May 18 to approve a $39.27 million proposed final budget for the 2015-16 school year.

The proposed final budget includes a one percent tax increase or a .25 mill rate increase.

Millage rates would increase to 26.46 from 26.21. The tax bill for a property assessed at $100,000 would be $2,646, an increase of $25.

School directors will be voting on the final budget on June 15.

The proposed final budget reflects an increase of $1.17 million or 3.1 percent more than the current budget.

Some of the larger expenditures for the budget include sky-rocketing retirement costs, charter school tuition, medical insurance costs, and budgeted salary increases, according to Business Manager Michele Zimmerman.

The district’s retirement contribution has increased to 25.84 percent from 21.4 percent.

Fifty-six students are enrolled in charter schools and the district has had limited success in drawing students back to the district.

School directors will be finalizing the 2015-16 budget in mid-June before knowing what money will be available to the district from the governor’s budget.

“We will have a budget we believes works, but we won’t know about the governor’s (proposal) until later,” Superintendent Steven Keifer said on May 11. “At this time we have a balanced budget. For the last seven years we have used a strategy to raise taxes by one percent (each year) to keep ahead of things.”

In other news, school directors voted, 6-0, to approve a five-year transportation contract extension starting with the 2016-17 school year.

The transportation contractors agreed to freeze their rates for the final year of the contract, the 2015-16 school year.

The contractors also agreed to have all vehicles equipped with audio/video cameras over the next two years, according to Kim Byassee, director of transportation.

Any rate increase during the contract will fall between two and three percent and the contractors agreed to maintain a newer fleet which could increase the subsidy that the school receives from the state.

The contractors also agreed to adjust their excess mileage charge starting in the 2016-17 school year and in return the school district agreed to the five-year extension, according to Byassee.

The next meeting of school directors is Monday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the James A. Gilmartin Community Room.

comments powered by Disqus