Mohonasen Superintendent of Business Chris Ruberti presented the Board of Education with an updated look at the 2019-2020 budget at a regular meeting on Tuesday, March 11.
Ruberti discussed an estimated $2 million deficit that could impact the district if the budget remains consistent and there are no reductions to staffing or programming. Over the next two weeks, district administration will be considering those reductions and will report back to the Board of Education during a regular meeting of the Board of Education at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 25.
There several major factors impacting the 2019-20 budget:
- Rising health insurance costs: There is a $1 million increase in projected health insurance costs for 2019-2020.
- Debt payments: Debt payments will increase slightly as part of a multi-year phase in of the debt payments associated with the recently voter-approved Capital Project.
- Retirement systems: There is a decrease of approximately $300,000 in Teachers’ Retirement System costs and an increase of $25,000 in Employees’ Retirement System costs.
- Retirements: Any known retirements have been factored into the current budget projections. Retiree salary and benefits have been replaced in the budget with the estimated salary and benefits of a new hire.
- Tax levy (estimated $850,000): The District will remain within the NYS tax cap again this year. An estimated 3.82 percent levy increase includes the final phase-in of debt payments associated with the recent Capital Project.
- State Aid: For Mohonasen, the governor has proposed a 0.59 percent or $80,458 increase in Foundation Aid over the 2018-19 adopted legislative budget. Total Foundation Aid for 2019-20 under this Executive Budget proposal would be $13,681,549.
The 2018-19 budget reduced approximately 12 FTE positions and included an additional $100,000 of non-staffing reductions. Even with the reduction and budget cuts the District operated under a $850,000 deficit, making up the difference with fund balance (reserves).
Last year’s deficit combined with the additional $1.15 million gap creates a total deficit of $2 million. Significant reductions will need to be made prior to adopting the budget on Monday, April 8.
On Tuesday, May 21, the day of the annual budget vote, there will also be a bus proposition on the ballot. The District will ask voters to consider the purchase of four full-size 72-passenger buses and two 33-passenger buses for $610,000. After state aid reimbursement on the bus purchase, the estimated cost to the district for the buses would be approximately $34,038 a year for the next five years.
There are also two Board of Education seats up for election. If you are interested in running for a seat, petitions are currently available in the District Office and petitions are due back to the district by 5 p.m. on Monday, April 22. You must collect at least 25 signatures on your petition.