Voters to consider $24.8 million budget on May 15

On Tuesday, May 15, Stillwater Central School District residents will vote on a proposed $24,842,337 budget for the 2018-19 school year. The board of education adopted the budget proposal at its meeting on Tuesday, April 10.

If voters approve the spending plan, the projected tax levy—the total amount of money a school district can raise through property taxes—would increase by 3.42 percent. This increase is below Stillwater’s maximum allowable tax levy increase as determined by the state’s tax levy “cap” formula.

“The proposed budget maintains all of our current programs, which continue to help our students grow and develop,” Superintendent Patricia Morris said. “When building the budget, we realize the impact our decisions have on taxpayers and we always make those choices with our community in mind.”

The 2018-19 budget proposal increases spending by $312,387, or 1.27 percent, over the current year budget. Much of that increase is driven by rising costs associated with salaries, employee pensions and benefits, as well as state and federal mandated programs and services. The proposal also includes additional after school enrichment programs at the elementary school, as well as a full-time school resource officer.

Also on May 15, voters will elect three members to the board of education and decide on a $100,000 capital project proposition to repair the flooring at the elementary school. Residents will vote on a proposition to establish a capital reserve fund of $750,000 to go toward the future replacement of the school’s turf field. The turf field was installed in 2009 and has recently been in need of replacement due to shedding and wear and tear. Residents will also vote on a proposed budget for the Stillwater Public Library and elect trustees to the Stillwater Public Library.

Residents can expect to receive a budget newsletter in early May. Residents are also encouraged to attend the public budget hearing at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8, in the MS/HS library.

Anyone who is a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old and a resident of the district for at least 30 days prior to May 15 is eligible to vote on the school budget. Voter registration is also required. Stillwater residents who have voted in the general election within the last three years, and who have not changed their residence, are already registered. There will also be a Voter Registration Day held on Tuesday, May 8, from noon to 4 p.m. in the district clerk’s office, 1068 North Hudson Avenue. Proof of identification and residency is required.

Absentee ballot applications will also be available on the district website and in the district clerk’s office for those who are unable to vote in person and who meet the requirements for absentee voting. If you have any questions, contact Mary Sgambati, District Clerk, at 373-6100, ext. 30022.