April 6, 2016
HORNELL, NY – After getting some final numbers from Albany, the Hornell Board of Education was able to put some concrete numbers together for a 2016-2017 school budget. As in all local school districts, local state aid will be substantially increased. The most recent figures have the total school budget at $37.2 million with roughly $30.2 million coming in state aid. This changed a lot of numbers in balancing the budget, the most important being that the district now has to use only $180,000 in reserve funds compared to the $300,000 previously anticipated. Budget coordinator Patrick Flaitz was happy to announce that as it stands now, Hornell will only have a tax levy increase of 2.1%, well under the 2.9% limit allowed without an override. One major increase was in foundation aid, which is up $986,000 over the previous year. On the plus side, only four full time positions will need to be eliminated instead of the anticipated eight. The final budget will be put before the board on April 20th, with another budget workshop planned for April 13th.
A capitol project update was given and everything is pretty much on schedule with construction on the Intermediate School pool, locker room, and roof beginning sometime in June. A big dilemma is how to deal with the student drop off area behind the High School. Suggestions from the architectural firm were to separate the bus loop from the parking area, even going so far as to move the high school softball field. Concerns from board members were the possibility of backing up traffic on Seneca Streets and adding traffic lights to an already congested area. Board president John McNelis added that more discussions, and surveys are needed and no hasty decision will be made as it will impact the area for many years to come.
VIDEO: School Finance Officer Pat Flaitz Talks About State Aid
vIDEO: School Bus Drop Off Issues Are Discussed
April 6, 2016