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CLCS Gives Details For Upcoming School Vote | News, Sports, Jobs

MAYVILLE — Chautauqua Lake Central School voters will soon be going to the polls to participate in this year’s school elections.

One decision will be for the general budget. There are two other propositions designed to generate reserve funds—one for projects and the other for repairs.

Finally, voters will select two of three candidates running to serve on the board of education.

For the general budget, Chautauqua Lake Central School is proposing a $23,585,665 budget for the 2022-23 school year. The levy — the amount collected in property taxes — would be $12,541,220. The current budget is $23,600,585 with a levy of $12,493,744.

“This year’s tax levy is proposed to increase 0.38%, the lowest percent increase we have proposed to our district residents in the last five years. We are very proud to be able to bring forth this budget knowing the level of high-quality student programming and facilities the district has to offer,” said Jackson Graham, CLCS business executive.

The current tax rate is $8.92 per $1,000 assessed valuation. Graham said he learned from the state Comptroller’s Office that it is the lowest property tax rate in the county. The highest rate of a county school district is $24.23, although he said the Comptroller’s Office did not identify which school that was.

In the school newsletter, officials note that 72% of the budget will go toward programming, 20% will go toward capital expenses and 8% is for administrative costs.

School officials estimate that 53% of their entire general budget is generated through local taxes, 36% will come from state aid and 11% of the revenue will be other revenue, including tuition from the Ripley School District, student fees, interest earnings, sale of property and equipment and other items. The school is also planning on using 4% from its fund balance, or $1.03 million.

School Board President Amy Webb noted that COVID issues are still a part of this proposed spending plan. “Our choices for the budget have considered the future effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and we always keep a student-first mindset when making budgetary decisions. As the elected board of education, we continue to be grateful for the support we receive from our faculty, staff, parents, stakeholders, and community,” she said.

School Superintendent Dr. Josh Liddell agreed. “We are thankful for all of the teamwork that went into creating this year’s proposed budget. We have a budget task force committee, which meets regularly throughout the school year and focuses on creating a budget that meets the needs of our students, teachers and community. This year’s fiscally responsible budget will allow us to build upon our multifaceted student programming options and continue to progress and grow as a district,” he said.

OTHER DECISIONS

The newsletter detailed the purposes of two other propositions.

Proposition 2 for capital reserve will enable the district to allocate funds to address future capital improvement projects that are not fully funded in the district’s annual operating budget. The proposition states that the funds can be used for things like acquisition and installation of machinery, equipment, apparatus, or furnishings required for the purposes of buildings, playgrounds, athletic fields, recreational areas, parking lots, and other site improvements. The reserve funding cannot exceed $7 million.

Proposition 3 for repair reserve will enable the district to address public safety concerns on campus by allocating funds for unexpected facility repairs, equipment failure, and infrastructure replacement. The proposition states that an unassigned general fund balance from 2021-22 can be transferred with a maximum amount of $750,000.

There are also three candidates running for two seats for the board of education. Running are Kenneth Shearer Jr., Mary Lee Talbot, and Andrea Munsee-Wellman. Shearer and Munsee-Wellman currently serve on the school board, while Talbot has served in the past.

Eligible voters can cast their ballot on Tuesday, May 17, from 7 am to 8 pm at the Rotunda Lobby at the main entrance of the school.

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