Journal staff teamed up with first graders from Morse Elementary School to learn about school budgets.
Patrick Oehler, Poughkeepsie Journal
The Red Hook Central School District’s proposed 2019-20 spending plan is leaner than this year’s budget, and a proposition on the ballot to install solar panels would yield additional annual savings, Superintendent Paul Finch said.
Red Hook’s $53.5 million proposed budget represents a reduction of 1.13% from the 2018-19 plan. Its tax levy of $34.4 million is an increase of 2.61%, which is under the tax cap. The reduced budget is intended to offset a projected deficit of more than $900,000, Finch said.
“We were able to close the gap because we received a break in (Teachers Retirement System) and health insurance, finalization of state aid, retirements, and use of reserves,” Finch said.
More than 10,000 registered voters in the district will be able to cast ballots Tuesday.
Should the proposal not pass, the contingency budget would be $52.6 million which, Finch said, “would force us to look at reducing what’s available to the kids.”
A proposition is asking voters to approve a $2 million solar project, to be bonded over 15 years. It would entail installing 2,250 solar panels to Mill Road Elementary, Linden Avenue Middle School and Red Hook High School, with the approval of the State Education Department. That, Finch said, would generate enough electricity to create “about $80,000” in annual electric bill savings, along with a $75,000 state aid reimbursement and a one-time New York State Energy Research and Development Authority incentive of about $370,000.
Johanna Moore and Maggie Rothwell are running unopposed for two seats on the board of education, each of which carries a three-year term.
Voting will be done in the Mill Road Elementary School cafeteria between noon and 9 p.m.
Stephen Haynes: email@example.com, 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4
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