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West Valley Central School Board commits to a limited tax levy increase

WEST VALLEY — West Valley Central School Business Official Ann O’Brien updated school board members about the upcoming budget, during the WVCS Board meeting held Feb. 25.

O’Brien said that she has broken the budget down into three parts, for review. During the Feb. 11 meeting, she outlined the general support portion of the budget and, on Feb. 25, detailed information about the budget’s instructional portion.

On March 11, O’Brien will present the final budget section, transportation and employee benefits and debt service.

“This is a work in progress, because we’re still getting information,” she said, adding that, when giving the February presentations, she still did not have information about the final health insurance rate. “The finalized state budget is going to impact us, so that is still on the horizon,” she added.

The West Valley Central School Board has stated that it is committed to keeping the tax levy increase to 2 percent, according to O’Brien. “We’ve calculated our tax levy limit and, if we were to right now go up to the limit, our taxes would increase by 5.25 percent, if the voters would approve the budget,” she said. “That’s the most we can raise, according to the tax levy limit. But our board is committed to keeping the tax levy at the 2 percent increase.”

In order to maintain that increase limit, the school must reduce its budget by an additional $283,900, according to O’Brien.

In other matters:
– The board approved an unpaid, medical leave of absence for Brittany Witt, effective Feb. 4 – March 15. Witt was hired as a part-time night cleaner. Her position will be substituted out, until she returns from her leave of absence.

– Girls elementary volleyball was approved by the board. The players will get together to play on Saturdays this month.

– The board approved a parent-teacher organization facilities use for an activity night on March 23.

– The school’s window balances have been replaced by Big L Distributors. According to Superintendent Eric Lawton, 17 windows were repaired with new, lighter balances. “These windows can now be opened easily and will provide safe egress, in the event of an emergency,” he said.

– Lawton congratulated the boys basketball team on its recent, overtime victory.

The next West Valley Central School Board of Education meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on March 11.

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