Niskayuna, Middleburgh school budgets again up for vote
Initial spending plans defeated last month
CAPITAL REGION Voters in the Niskayuna and Middleburgh school districts will head back to the polls today to consider trimmed-down budgets after initial spending plans were defeated last month.
In Niskayuna, voters will be asked to approve a budget that comes in under the state tax cap. The budget carries a tax levy increase of 3.95 percent.
The proposed budget is set at $75,693,201, or a 0.47 percent spending increase over the current 2012-13 budget.
The new budget proposal was needed after district voters last month soundly defeated the initial proposal that included a 5.76 percent tax levy increase. That budget was over the 4.66 percent tax cap for the district.
A simple majority of voters is needed to pass the budget at the second vote.
To get to the new budget number, the Niskayuna school board approved a budget that included $900,000 in spending cuts and new revenue.
The proposal would mean a home in Niskayuna valued at $250,000 would see a school tax bill increase of about $189.
District officials have been getting information about the second proposal out to the public. A second defeat would force the district to cut another $2 million as part of a state-mandated contingency budget.
Officials have called the contingency scenario dire, one that could return the district to half-day kindergarten, eliminate five elementary classes, reduce high school art and foreign language and eliminate all levels of athletics, among other cuts.
Polls are to open in Niskayuna at 7 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. Voting is to take place at Niskayuna High School.
In the Middleburgh Central School District, voters will consider a $20,189,789 budget proposal offering a reduced tax levy hike compared with the $20,277,789 spending plan rejected May 21.
The district's Board of Education whittled the initial 3.92-percent tax levy increase by cutting $88,000, leaving a 2.68 percent change in the levy, an increase of $235,297 in tax revenue.
The resultant spending increase proposed for the 2013-14 school year, compared with the current budget, is 0.02 percent, an increase of $39,308 in spending.
Cuts that followed the May vote include reductions in a maintenance position, combining a bus mechanic and bus driver position and elimination of an internal auditor.
A physical education position and literacy/reading specialist in addition to the equivalent of one teaching position were also cut.
Energy conservation contracts and the Athletics Department will also have to find cuts of $12,000 and $15,000, respectively.
Voting will take place from noon to 9 p.m. in the high school gymnasium lobby at 291 Main St.