GERRY - The Cassadaga Valley Central School District budget features a 1.08 percent tax levy increase.
The Board of Education recently adopted the 2014-15 budget in the amount of $20,093,000. This represents an increase of $125,302, a .006 percent hike from the 2013-14 budget. The total increase in the levy, the amount raised through property taxes, will be $53,632.
The budget plan increases two part-time teaching positions to full-time, allowing the high school to offer more elective courses for students, according to the district.
With the cooperation of the Cassadaga Valley Faculty Association, there are some new course offerings that offer opportunities for academic growth for students, according to the district. Courses will be instructed by the current high school teaching staff.
The district has been able to keep budget increases down through savings achieved by the retirements of eight veteran teachers over the last 18 months.
Over the past several years, many positions within the district have been eliminated due to decreases in New York state aid, because of the Gap Elimination Adjustment, according to the district. This year, school officials said they are fortunate to have had increases in state aid, which helps with the total revenue budget.
As part of a recent audit from the New York State Comptroller's Office, district fund balance and reserves were discussed as part of the budget work sessions. Recommendations were made to the Board of Education to make transfers at year-end to address some of the comptroller's concerns.
As part of the budget process, the board of education established a capital improvements reserve fund with a limit of $800,000, which will act as a savings account for future capital projects and lessen the taxpayer impact for the local share of projects. The board also adopted fund balance and reserve policies.
A budget hearing will be held May 12 immediately following the regular board of education meeting.