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April 18, 2013

Unatego board weighs spending plans

Staff Report
The Daily Star

---- — The Unatego Central School Board of Education heard ways to reduce its budget gap at its Tuesday meeting, business manager Nicholas Rosas said.

The school is currently facing a shortfall of about $520,000 because of declining state and federal funding. A number of items were listed but no action was taken. The board is scheduled to adopt a spending plan at its April 24 meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the junior/senior high school.

Among the items Rosas presented were using $240,000 in an employee-benefits liability reserve. The state has recently loosened rules on using that, Rosas said.

Amortizing the mandated increase to the teachers retirement service would total $140,000, but at some point that would have to be repaid.

Increasing the tax levy an additional 2 percent would raise $133,500.

Closing Otego Elementary School would save $100,000. That school was chosen because it’s smaller than Unadilla Elementary School, he said.

If that route was taken, it would also require moving fifth-grade to middle school because of space requirements, he said.