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JE BOE 2-6-19

Jordan-Elbridge Central School District Superintendent Jim Froio gives an early budget presentation at a district board of education meeting Feb. 6.

The Jordan-Elbrdge Central School District's 2019-20 proposed budget is ready to be voted on next month.

The district's total proposed budget is set to be $31,825,000, according to a news release on the district's website. That would account for a 2.57 percent, or $797,728, jump in spending from the current year. The tax levy increase the district will propose to the community is 1.65 percent, under the district's 4.24 percent tax cap given by the state. A budget hearing and opportunity to hear district board of education candidates is set May 8 — three board spots are open this year — and residents will be able to vote on the budget May 21. 

The news release said the proposed budget will maintain programming. District Superintendent James Froio said Wednesday the district's major cost drivers are set to include a $25,000 building condition survey required by the state, mandated water testing lead set to cost around $14,000 and digital upgrades for district radios — $34,000 to put the updated radios in district buses, and $41,000 in install them in district buildings. The press release said additional budget growth can be attributed to increased special education costs and bringing on a part-time night security guard. A set of slides included in the news release said that night guard is set to cost $17,000. The release said the guard would act as security during practices when no events are happening.

The current budget reflects a 17 percent drop in teacher retirement system costs and continued savings of over $77,000 annually from a district energy performance contract that was completed years ago, Froio said.

The slides in the release said three anticipated position cuts are set to save the district $214,000. One spot will have a retirement and won't be filled and another is special education, although Froio said the person in that spot was told when it was filled that it would only be a one-year position. The third job will be filled with someone from within the district, while the person vacating that role will get an administrative intern position with an $97,000 cost. 

The slides said other budget highlights include resurfacing tennis courts and the additions of four pickle ball courts for $37,000 and adding a boys tennis club team for $3,000 and up to three additional college-level courses.

The news release said the district is anticipating $83,326 in building aid from the state next year for a 2016 emergency capital project for radon, lead and asbestos abatement, with the district set to get $41,663 annually for 13 years after that.

In addition to a budget proposition, other propositions community members can expect to see are the creation of a capital reserve fund not to exceed the cost of $3 million and a spending increase for the Jordan Bramely Library and Elbridge Free Library.

"I think it puts us on a good path for financial stability for the future," Froio said about the proposed budget.

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Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or kelly.rocheleau@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.

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