BY MICHELLE MILLER
Cooperstown Central School Superintendent Mary Jo McPhail made a PowerPoint presentation that featured proposed cuts during a budget work session held on Wednesday, March 10. The work session was moved from the cafeteria to the auditorium so that microphones could be used and people could be more comfortable, according to McPhail. She said the meeting was well-attended and the board wanted to allow people to provide input about the topics being presented.
The agenda included, but was not limited to, district staffing, class size options, interscholastic athletics and reductions in extra-curricular activities, network systems purchases, delaying purchases such as a new bus and a review of enrollment trends in French, business and technology courses and the summer driver’s education program.
According to McPhail, members of the public were able to make comments about each agenda topic after an overview was presented. She said community members seemed most outspoken about class sizes and the proposed tax levy increase of 8.8 percent. There were also a number of questions regarding athletics, but this is not unusual because this topic comes in front of the board on an annual basis, said McPhail.
McPhail said athletics makes up a small portion of the overall budget (2.1 percent), but is a visible portion because of attendance. She said the athletic events are very well attended. According to the presentation, the total cost of interscholastic athletics is $338,179. Based on 2008-09 data, transportation for athletics costs $46,434.
The proposed 2010-11 budget of $16,252,158 is 1.79 percent lower than last year’s budget. It shows a reduction in five teaching positions, elimination of junior varsity football and junior varsity field hockey, two modified basketball coaches, an assistant modified wresting coach, the volleyball scorekeeper, summer drivers’ education and a handful of aides and other district staff positions.
With the proposed cuts, district residents can still expect an 8.8 percent increase in their taxes. Without the cuts, the tax levy would go up about 13 to 14 percent, according to board members. Those residing in New Lisbon would be hit the hardest with an increase of $1.46 per $1,000, meaning they can expect a $143 increase in taxes if owning a home valued at $100,000. Burlington residents can expect a $1.43 increase per $1,000, Middlefield residents a $1.21 increase per $1,000 and Hartwick and Otsego residents a $0.75 increase per $1,000.
BY MICHELLE MILLER
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