School BOE eyes $34M school budget for ’17-18

JOHNSTOWN — The Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education will consider adopting a $33.9 million district budget for 2017-18 at its meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Johnstown High School small cafe.

Board President Kathryn Zajicek said the budget to be considered for adoption will be the same budget to come before voters May 16.

“My understanding is you put this forward with certain deadlines,” she said.

Zajicek noted the public will get to hear all details of the budget at a public hearing at 6 p.m. May 9 at the JHS Lecture Hall.

But the board president also said the plan is to present the budget in several other forums before the May 16 vote. They include presentations at individual schools, and a presentation to view online.

“It shows we’re in touch with the times,” Zajicek said.

The proposed budget includes a 3.5 percent tax levy increase. State Foundation Aid is expected to increase by about $200,000 for the next school year, with total revenue at about $31.3 million. The district plans to use about $2.5 million in fund balance.

The 3.5 percent tax increase would be about half of what the district is allowed by the state now. The state is imposing a roughly 6.2 percent tax cap for the 2017-18 budget. District residents with a home assessed at about $50,000 would see their tax bill rise by $25.34, and by $50.68 for a home assessed at $100,000.

In other items on Thursday’s meeting agenda, the board will consider approving the district‘s Property Tax Report Card for the 2017-18 school year for submission to the state Education Department.

Superintendent Patricia Kilburn will discuss a memorandum of understanding for a Fonda-Fultonville Central School District evacuation shelter. The board will consider approving the memorandum later.

The superintendent will also report on the Utica National Insurance Group School Safety Excellence Award.

The board will consider several personnel items and policies.

Board discussion will also center on an upcoming visit to an industrial park building, and distribution of board self-evaluation forms.

By Patricia Older

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