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Marcellus voters approve $32.3 million budget; elect board members


On May 19, Marcellus Central School District voters approved the district’s $32.3 million 2015-16 budget proposal and elected three Board of Education members.
 

Voters approved:
  • A $32,253,589 budget for the 2015-16 school year that increases spending 2.05 percent ($647,775), and carries a 0.74 percent tax levy increase: 601 yes, 267 no.
  • The purchase of four school buses and one four-wheel-drive, seven-passenger vehicle at a cost not to exceed $478,313: 600 yes, 269 no.
  • An annual budget increase of $9,670 for Marcellus Free Library: 610 yes, 258 no.
Voters also elected three new members to the Marcellus Board of Education:
  • Michael McAuliff: 658 votes.
  • Patty Sager: 632 votes.
  • Janine Lundrigan: 113 votes.
Sager and McAuliff each will serve a three-year term, beginning July 1. Lundrigan will serve a one-year term effective immediately.
 

“We want to thank all those who took the time to vote today,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Craig J. Tice said. “It’s gratifying to move forward with a fiscal plan that preserves and enhances Marcellus’ quality academic program while limiting the impact on our taxpayers.”
 
The 2015-16 tax levy increase of 0.74 percent was the largest increase the district could have passed with approval from a simple majority (50 percent plus one) of voters, per the state’s property tax levy limit law. The law requires each school district to calculate its own levy limit based on a complex, multi-step formula. Any increase above this limit would have required approval of a supermajority, or at least 60 percent of voters.

Administrators reduced the tax levy increase – or the amount of revenue raised through property taxes – by employing a number of strategies, including:
  • Allocating $601,366 in reserve funds.
  • Sharing transportation services with Cortland City School District, for the busing of special needs students.
  • Returning some administrative services to the district from BOCES.
  • Continuing to work with the Central New York Health Consortium, to find ways to reduce the district’s cost for employee benefits. 
“On behalf of the Board of Education, I want to thank the Marcellus voters for approving this budget,” said board President Ryan Riefler. “Once again, the community has assisted us in our mission to help students develop the responsibility, confidence and knowledge they need to thrive in a 21st century world.”


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