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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 Tuesday.

JORDAN — The Jordan-Elbridge Central School District went over a preliminary budget overview for the 2019-20 school year Tuesday night.

The presentation was lead by district Superintendent Jim Froio. The district is recommending to the board that it set the tax levy at 1.65-percent. Under this, the district's proposed spending amount would be $31,515,000, a 1.57-percent jump from the previous year. District Treasurer Roxanne Miller noted after the meeting that the district's possible 4.24-percent tax cap could change based on the amount of reserves used.

The district is set to receive a 16-percent decrease in its teacher retirement system rate, which Miller said after the meeting will be a big financial benefit.

The district will undergo a state-mandated $25,000 building condition survey in 2020, though Miller noted after the meeting it is set to get state aid on it. A state-required water testing for lead is set to cost an estimated $14,000.

Next year, the district is set to receive $83,326 in building aid from the state for a 2016 emergency capital project for radon, lead and asbestos abatement. The district is estimated to receive $41,663 per year for 13 years after that.

Froio noted the district is recommending the creation of a new capital reserve not to exceed $3 million that would require public approval.

Among the factors the district is considering are redesigning the calendar for an estimated $3,600. Also, an estimated $50,000 driver's education program that would be held during the school year and would be shared with another district  — though it would receive some BOCES aid for the subsequent year. Another is adding an internal auditor for an estimated $10,000 and resurfacing tennis courts and adding four pickleball courts for an estimated $37,000. Other considerations include adding a boys tennis team for an estimated $6,000, adding part-time night security for an estimated $17,000 and an anticipated cut of three instructional positions, saving an estimated $214,000.

One of the positions is a retirement and it won't be filled. Another position is a special education spot, though Froio said "when we filled it we told the individual, 'It's only going to be a one-year deal.'" Froio also noted the third position would be filled with someone from within the district, while the person leaving that spot would take a possible administrative intern position with an estimated $97,000 cost.

Miller said after the meeting she felt "very good" about the early budget, possibly several new programs with "only a 1.65-percent estimated tax levy increase."

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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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Education Reporter