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Sullivan West budget unveiled

By Kevin Kearney
May 1, 2013

The Sullivan West Central School District’s proposed spending plan for 2013-14 totals $34,470,595, a 3.10% increase from 2012-13. The preliminary local tax levy is listed at 1.99%, lower than six other districts in Sullivan County, according to a presentation given at the April 23 board meeting.

“We wanted to keep that tax cap below 2%,” superintendent Nancy M. Hackett said during the presentation, noting the maximum tax-cap allowance is 4.40%. Regarding the overall budget, she said, “I’m really pleased with where we are at this point.” The superintendent said there will not be any cuts to staff, programs, resources or classes.

A public hearing will be held on the proposed spending plan on May 9 at 7 p.m. in the high school library. The budget vote is scheduled for May 21.

The majority of revenue comes from the tax levy, $17.1 million, and from state aid, about $13.6 million, both totals similar to that of the 2012-13 budget. The expenditures consist of three state-required components: programs, $23.6 million; capital, $6.9 million; and administrative, $3.9 million.

“We’re in a good place,” Hackett said.

Board president Mary Scheutzow added, “We’re a lot better off than many districts.”

Putting faces behind the statistics, Hackett said the majority of Sullivan West employees are local residents: 69% of its employees live within the district and 38% of the employees graduated from high schools locally.

“These are the people who are in our budget,” said the superintendent.

Hackett said the district has been working on the budget since October 2012. “We’ve tried to maintain our expenses,” she said.

In other business, the board accepted the retirement of teacher aide Carol Yewchuck, effective June 30; and appointed William Schlott to the position of assistant varsity track coach at a stipend of $2,573.