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Lew-Port board announces budget figure

by niagarau
Fri, Apr 20th 2012 07:00 pm
Kelsey Oliverio and Sarah Andres perform at the Lew-Port Board of Education meeting.
Kelsey Oliverio and Sarah Andres perform at the Lew-Port Board of Education meeting.

District hearing May 8

Story and photo by Janet Schultz

The Lewiston-Porter Board of Education will ask district voters to approve a budget of $40,472,775 for 2012-13. That figure reflects a 3.51 percent increase in the tax levy. However, the budget for next year is less than a 1 percent increase from the 2011-12 budget of $40,233,491.

In order to reach a balanced budget, the board and administration followed their goals to develop a budget within the new tax threshold guidelines established by New York state while maintaining existing programming.

Among some of the modifications to reach the budget figure were cutting requests to the 2011-12 levels, reducing the number of department chairs, eliminating Community Education, making cuts to intramurals, contracted security services and equipment. Other modifications were cuts to requests that exceeded the specific state aid allocations.

Reductions also came in the form of retiring staff, but rather than leave positions empty, many were filled with qualified persons already employed at Lew-Port. There were some eliminations of teacher aides and teaching assistants.

The Lewiston-Porter United Teachers union assisted by increasing their health insurance contribution earlier than planned, and with an agreement with BOCES to turn off computers electronically, the district will save money on its electric bill. They are also looking at savings in transportation, heating, summer school for special education and in substitute teaching.

"If anything unusual happens, we are in a better place to build from here," said Superintendent Christopher Roser.

"There is no fund balance for next year and there isn't anything extra in the budget," he continued.

"It's as good as we could get. We didn't cut programs but some may be done differently."

In other news:

•Lew-Port still recognizes excellence among their students and staff and did so at this board meeting.

First, All State Musicians Sarah Andres and Kelsey Oliverio demonstrated their talent with a short musical presentation followed by the recognition of Sarah, Loren Milne and MacKenzie Rogers for their accomplishments in All States and All County competition.

The second group honored were those who participated in the Swim A Cross raising funds for the American Red Cross. Lewiston Porter raised the most funds, $11,158, among all schools participating and Emily Lauzonis was recognized as the Top Fundraiser not only in the school but in the county with $1,100. Lew-Port had 126 students participating.

Also recognized for their contributions were Andon Lentz, Gianna Dorato, Justin Pavar, Nicole Tyler, Sophia DeGiulo, Elaina Jowdy, Sarah Tyler and Mia DeGiulo.

•It was also announced that Summer Chapman was named "Teacher of the Week" by WKBW Channel 7.

Also recognized were the school nurses in recognition of National Nurses Day, which will be celebrated on May 9. Lewport's RN's include Mary Mihalich, Gloria Klettke, Maureen Schug and Kim Winter.

•In other business, the Board awarded a contracting bid to Flynn/Battaglia for capital construction.

At a special meeting on March 27, the board approved a resolution for reconstruction and renovation work at the high school and middle school, which includes reconstruction and replacement of the pool liner, filters and pumps.

•The BOW will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, April 24, at 7:30 a.m. in the Community Resource Center boardroom fro the purpose of voting on the Orleans/Niagara BOCES budget.

•The district's budget hearing will take place on Tuesday, May 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Resource Center boardroom.

•District residents will vote on the school budget on Tuesday, May 15.

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