Community will vote on proposed $18.985 million budget
Duanesburg Central School District’s Board of Education adopted the district’s proposed budget for the 2023-24 school year at the board’s regular monthly meeting held Tuesday, April 4. The proposed $18.985 million budget maintains current programming, as well as all athletics and extracurricular offerings. The spending plan includes a 2.07% ($385,000) year-to-year spending increase and calls for a tax levy increase of 2.43%, or $207,444, which is under the district’s tax levy limit or “cap” of 3.91%.
Community members will vote on the proposed budget on Tuesday, May 16. Polls will be open from 1-9 p.m. in the Duanesburg Jr.-Sr. High School Media Center (library). The proposed budget will only require a simple majority vote for approval (more than 50%) since the tax levy is below the cap.
“Despite the rising costs of virtually everything needed to run a school district, we have been able to construct a budget that increases spending just over 2% from last year and have once again been able to propose a levy significantly under the allowable cap,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jim Niedermeier. “We believe that this budget is strategic and puts us in a good position to protect our programs despite expected reductions in Foundation Aid in the coming years.”
The district is expected to receive a 3% increase ($155,585) in Foundation Aid from New York for the 2023-24 school year. In addition to tax levy and state aid, the spending plan also calls for using $100,000 from reserves (savings) and $947,173 from Fund Balance (monies left over from the previous year’s budget) if necessary to bridge the gap between expected expenditures and revenues for the coming school year.
BUS PURCHASE: Also on the ballot, voters will decide on a proposition to purchase three school buses at a cost not to exceed $400,000. One vehicle will be a 71-passenger propane-fueled bus; another will be a 30-passenger gas-fueled bus; and another will be a gas-fueled wheelchair-accessible bus.
AUTHORIZE EXPENDING FUNDS: Voters will also decide if the Board of Education should be authorized to spend $6 million from the District’s Capital Reserve Fund towards the district’s Centennial Capital Project — a $28 million project that was approved by voters on December 8, 2022. Voters have already approved the overall expense of the capital project, but must also authorize the withdrawal of funds from reserves to pay for the project.
BOARD OF EDUCATION ELECTION: Lastly, voters will elect two candidates to serve on the board of education for three-year terms. You can learn more about the candidates who are running at the PTA’s Meet the Candidates Night at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 11 in Joe Bena Hall at the Duanesburg Junior Senior High School.
ABSENTEE BALLOTS: Qualified voters may request an absentee ballot if they will be unable to vote in person due to illness or physical disability, hospitalization, incarceration (unless incarcerated for a felony), travel outside the voter’s county of residence for employment or business reasons, studies, primary caregiver obligations or vacation on the day of election. Absentee voters must first complete and return an application. Applications are available on the district website or by contacting the district clerk, Celeste Junge, at (518) 895-2279 ext. 241. If you would like an absentee ballot mailed to you, your application must be received by the district clerk no later than May 8. If you plan to pick up your ballot, your application must be received by May 15. Completed ballots must be received by the district by mail or drop-off no later than 5 p.m. on May 16.
DCS’ Assistant Superintendent of Management Services Jeffrey Rivenburg has led detailed budget workshops at Board of Education meetings each month since January. Replays of the meetings can be found on the district’s YouTube page (DCS Eagles) and the monthly budget presentation documents are archived on the “Budget and Taxes” page of the district website.