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The Dansville Online
  • Wayland–Cohocton board accepts budget

  • It was a tough decision. Does the district go with a 2 percent tax cap even though it’s not enough — yet it’s too much?


    That’s the dilemma state aid formulas have given Wayland–Cohocton Board of Education this budget season.


    When all was said and done, the WCCS board agreed to present the public with a $28.4 million budget for next school year.

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  • It was a tough decision. Does the district go with a 2 percent tax cap even though it’s not enough — yet it’s too much?
    That’s the dilemma state aid formulas have given Wayland–Cohocton Board of Education this budget season.
    When all was said and done, the WCCS board agreed to present the public with a $28.4 million budget for next school year.
    Although its revenues come out about even with this school year’s, it’s not enough to meet increasing costs, primarily a spike in health insurance.
    Due to this, there will be a number of staffing positions lost next year. But the current number of proposed staff cuts have changed in a positive direction from the previous board meeting; an exact amount is still in flux. Late in the game, the district received a little more in state aid funding than previously anticipated.
    During the board meeting last Wednesday, Wetherbee proposed to keep two academic intervention services positions and a part-time special education position. At least one other position, yet to be determined, is expected to be saved.
    By trying to not confuse voters by going above the state’s 2 percent tax cap, the district is risking its vote on keeping its tax increase lower than it could, but higher than its formulated cap.
    As reported in a March 15 Express article, the much hyped 2 percent tax cap has been wrongly publicized statewide. Not every entity across New York is allowed a 2 percent tax cap. The maximum allowable levy increase for Wayland-Cohocton is actually 0.68 percent according to formulas.
    In other words, for the voters to approve the district’s proposed 2 percent tax increase, it would require a 60 percent supermajority vote.
    “It’s a crazy formula that has a negative impact on us, and we’re getting punished,” Wetherbee said in his office last week.
    “Even though the legislation took positive steps this year, I still firmly believe that the way state aid is distributed in our state is very inequitable. If you’re a district who has any wealth base at all, you’re not making those reductions.”
    In addition to the 2 percent levy increase, the board approved a proposition to approve an expenditure from the vehicle and equipment reserve fund not to exceed $330,297 for the purchase of three buses, one utility vehicle and one large volume copier.
    Those purchases would not come from the general fund, but through a special reserve.
    The board also approved a proposition to increase the special tax levy for the support of the Cohocton Public Library and the E.J. Cottrell Memorial Library by $10,000 to Cohocton; $2,000 to E.J. Cottrell.
    Page 2 of 2 - Three candidates have also been approved to be on the ballot to vie for two board of education positions. Each position is a five year term. Candidates are Daniel Feno, Rich Rizzieri and incumbent Dirk Traphagen.
    The public vote will be May 15.

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