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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Showing posts with label 2014 budget. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2014 budget. Show all posts

C-R, Gilboa School Budgets Earn High Rankings, MCS Nears Fiscal Stress in Comptroller's Report

Written By Editor on 2/18/15 | 2/18/15

The state of the local school districts' budgets range from spotless to nearing troubled, according to the State Comptroller's office. The agency did a review of the deficit and debt loads of all towns, villages, and school districts in the county. The local villages had a similar range of issues in their report.

However, with declining enrollment, state aid cuts, and Common Core initiation the local school districts have a varied set of results. The state weighed various factors of fiscal stress in a rubric to establish an average score. The lower the percentage, the healthier the agency is.

Gilboa-Conesville: 0.0%
Cobleskill-Richmondville: 0.0%
Schoharie: 6.7%
Jefferson: 6.7%
Sharon Springs: 13.3%
Middleburgh: 20.0%

Two of the districts rated a spotless record. The only one that neared the Comptroller's Office's rating of 'susceptible fiscal stress' starting at 24.9% was the Middleburgh Central School District.

The audit also looked at the districts' last several years' budget deficits. Lower positive figures indicate a precise control of money while negative figures indicate deficits. Of the last three years, the districts operated at:

Cobleskill-Richmondville: 0.2%
Schoharie: 0.93%
Jefferson: 1.4%
Gilboa-Conesville: 1.8%
Sharon Springs: -1.63%
Middleburgh: -3.8%

Of all the schools surveyed, only Middleburgh was penalized for having deficits all three years. Its 2014 budget was heavily penalized for having a 4.4% deficit.

More information about all fiscal reports is published on the Comptroller's website.

Middleburgh, Richmondville Village Budgets Earn Top Marks from State

Both the Villages of Middleburgh and Richmondville earned high scores from a recent audit of fiscal stress conducted by the State Comptroller's Office. This new program, which has been conducted over the last three years studies various factors regarding fiscal health of local governments. Five of the six villages' scores were recently released by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office.

Of the communities, each was ranked on the amount of cash on hands, use of tax funds, levels of debt, and sustainability of debt. For each stressor on the budget, a percentage was increased on the rubric.

The Village of Cobleskill's report was not available, but of the five other villages, each scored the following. The lower the score, the healthier the budget was. The Comptroller's office considers any score above 44.9% as 'susceptible fiscal stress.'

Middleburgh: 15.8%
Richmondville: 15.8%
Esperance: 17.9%
Schoharie: 22.5%
Sharon Springs: 39.6%

Middleburgh, Schoharie, and Esperance were all slightly penalized for undergoing fiscal stress in 2012 due to Hurricane Irene causing a spike in expenditures and dramatic fall in assessments. The Village of Sharon Springs was penalized for having a much larger debt load than the other communities.

Of the Villages, the communities had different three year average debt loads the state considered:

Richmondville: 4.9%
Middleburgh: 7.8%
Esperance: 13.5%
Schoharie: 17.7%
Sharon Springs: 20.6%

The ratio of deficits to the overall budget was weighed, with the aim of having a low, positive percentage representing prudent use of funds over the last budget year. Esperance was penalized for two large budget deficits in three years:

Middleburgh: 3.0%
Sharon Springs: 4.3%
Richmondville: 4.4%
Schoharie: 29.9%
Esperance: -23.6%

County Residents Head to Polls to Decide School Budgets

Written By Editor on 5/20/14 | 5/20/14

Schoharie County residents will have the opportunity to vote in six local school board elections and decide the fate of several proposed budgets this afternoon into late evening. The following school by school rundown is a brief overview of each district and what voters are being asked to consider in their respective community.

Cobleskill-Richmondville (7am-9pm)

The CRCS Board of Education has proposed a $37,583,403 budget for the 2014-15 school year, which is a spending increase of $1,012,750 or 2.77% over the current fiscal year's budget and calls for a 2.36% hike in district taxes.

Three Board of Education candidates - Steven Philbrick, Susan Emerson Strasser and Bruce Tryon - are running unopposed for three seats.

Gilboa-Conesville (12pm-8pm)

The GCCS Board of Education has proposed a $10,112,980 budget for the 2014-15 school year, which is a spending increase of 2.43% over the current fiscal year's budget and calls for a 1.99% rise in the district's tax levy.

Two Board of Education candidates - Greg Woodcock and Peter Fox - are running unopposed for two seats.

Jefferson (12pm-8pm)

The JCS Board of Education has proposed a $6,299,149 budget for the 2014-15 school year, which is a spending increase of 3.26% over the current fiscal year's budget and calls for a 2.41% increase in district taxes. 

Two Board of Education candidates - David Lapinel and Laurel Bedford - are running unopposed for two seats.

Middleburgh (12pm-9pm)

The MCS Board of Education has proposed a $20,424,951 budget for the 2014-15 school year, which is a spending increase of 1.16% over the current fiscal year's budget and calls for a 2.51% hike in district taxes.

One Board of Education candidate - Ernest Kuehl - is running unopposed for the lone seat.

Schoharie (9am-9pm)

The SCS Board of Education has proposed a $21,677,470 budget for the 2014-15 school year, which is a spending increase of 3.13% over the current fiscal year's budget and calls for a 1.53% increase in district taxes.

Three Board of Education candidates - Maureen Bernhardt, Mark Quandt and James Bleau - are competing for two seats.

Sharon Springs (12pm-9pm)

The SSCS Board of Education has proposed a $8,885,268 budget for the 2014-15 school year, which is a spending increase of 0.7% over the current fiscal year's budget and calls for no increase in district taxes. 

Third Straight Year With No Tax Increase for Middleburgh Residents

Written By Editor on 4/5/14 | 4/5/14

Village of Middleburgh residents are poised to see their taxes hold steady for a third consecutive year, an accomplishment Village Mayor Matthew Avitabile argues has saved homeowners on average $139 since 2012. Avitabile posted an update on the valley community's facebook page earlier this week concerning budgetary figures. 

The proposed 2014-15 public budget, which will be presented to the village board and members of the community on Monday, April 7th at 7:00 pm, contains no tax increase but plenty of additional spending for local projects. 

With additional funds being put aside for local infrastructure (streets, sidewalks) and the Youth Commission, which manages the pools and summer programs, the village's more significant expenditures include a one-time $20,000 allotment to the Fire Department for firehouse repairs and a $2,000 increase in funding for the village's park projects. 

Village Trustees are expected to approve the proposed budget, which came as a result of several workshop meetings, Monday evening. 

County Board Adopts 2014 Budget in Mixed Vote, Approves Other Action in Special Session

Written By Editor on 12/11/13 | 12/11/13

The Schoharie County Board of Supervisors, meeting in a special session, adopted the proposed 2014 county budget in a split vote yesterday evening, with what remained of the Conservative faction (Supervisors Mann, Murray, Singletary and Vroman) siding against the largely non-controversial fiscal plan, while the remaining ten Supervisors voted in support of the multi-million dollar package.
In what constituted the only public debate before the budget's passage, outgoing Supervisors Robert Mann of Blenheim and Dan Singletary of Jefferson questioned the reversion of a currently grade 18 Highway Department employee to his previous grade 13 position, of which there is already an occupant, with Public Works Commissioner Dan Crandall warning that it will be a "struggle to get it [work] done" with this change in departmental personnel duties.
Supervisor Mann in particular accused the County Board of engaging in similar activities that they decried in the infamous Fitzmaurice Report, which he acknowledged paints an unfavorable opinion of his handling of a layoff "hit list" in November 2011, and sparred briefly with Schoharie Town Supervisor Gene Milone who explained the board's decision as the "elimination of a title that shouldn't be there."
In other action the County Board approved Resolution 98 (establishing county equalization rates), Resolution 99 (equalizing assessments), Resolution 100 (levying unpaid water charges in Esperance, Schoharie, Jefferson, Conesville and Richmondville), Resolution 101 (levy on town taxes), Resolution 102 (levying unpaid sewer charges in Seward, Esperance and Schoharie),  Resolution 103 (levying returned school taxes), Resolution 104 (levying returned village taxes) and Resolution 105 (levying highway improvement district charges for Avenue of the Stars in the Town of Blenheim) by wide margins.
Two resolutions concerning separate Schoharie County stream restoration and emergency watershed protection projects (Little Schoharie and Platterkill) were also adopted, which awarded both contracts to Rifenburg Construction at a combined cost of $11.7 million, as were two motions of new business: one by Supervisor Mann requesting Schoharie County Treasurer Bill Cherry and Ron Simmons of Simmons Recovery Consulting to meet with members of his town over the status of rebuilding the Blenheim Bridge and the other which authorized the county to begin advertising the soon-to-be-vacant position of Public Health Director.
Fourteen of sixteen Town Supervisors were present for the second to last meeting of the raucous 2013 legislative session, with the Town of Wright's chair remaining vacant and Broome Supervisor Anne Batz absent. The regularly scheduled December Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on next Friday, December 20th at 9 am.

Special County Board Meeting Tonight (December 10th, 2013)

Written By Editor on 12/10/13 | 12/10/13

The Schoharie County Board of Supervisors will be convening tonight in a routine session to adopt the tax levy resolutions which are a result of the board's adoption of the 2014 public budget at last month's regular meeting. Supervisors have traditionally adopted the levies in early December to give the Real Property Tax Office enough time to produce tax bills before the Christmas holiday. 

There are also four committee meetings scheduled between this evening and tomorrow night, the result of which will likely be a quick session to adopt the tax levies and to adjourn shortly thereafter, unless new business is brought before the board that cannot wait until the year-end session is held on Friday, December 20th. 

2014 Tentative Budget: Spending and Debt Decreases, Taxes Mixed

Written By Editor on 10/15/13 | 10/15/13

The 2014 tentative budget, set to be announced in a press conference by Treasurer Bill Cherry this morning, will show not only the decline of public expenditures but also the overall decrease in property taxes for county residents, while completing flood related reconstruction without indebting county government or taxpayers.
Here are the highlights:
  • While the county's 2014 tax levy is set to rise 1.98% over 2013 levels, the budget actually decreases the equalized full-value property tax rate by 1.52% despite the lingering effects of economic recession and reconstruction costs. 14 Towns will see tax reductions due to the NYS Equalization Rate, while only two will see increases.
  • Expenditures are set to decrease by 7.8% in the 2014 budget, or roughly $6 million, due to the Stream Bank Stabilization project winding down. The budget also doesn't account for Flood Reconstruction Capital Projects because of federal and state reimbursements expected to reach 100% of costs.
  • The County government currently has $29 million in Bond Anticipation Notes, which allows the county to borrow needed funds for reconstruction projects on agreement to repay when that project's completed. However, due to FEMA and SEMO programs, the county is expecting near full reimbursement of costs and our BAN debt to decrease to $25.5 million by 2014.
With county government still wrangling with how to proceed concerning both the county jail and public safety facility, which is estimated to cost $14 million to rebuild and $19 million to construct in a different location, this budget goes a long way towards salving public concerns by already decreasing BAN debts;  an overall reduction in expenditures and the county property tax rate while maintaining a high level of effectiveness in the execution and costs of reconstruction.

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