Board Adopts Budget Proposal and Capital Project Proposal for 2020-2021
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The Board of Education, at their meeting on May 19, 2020, adopted a 2020-2021 school budget proposal to be brought to the Batavia residents for vote in the coming weeks. The proposed budget presents a spending plan of $51,470,726, an increase of 1.89% over 2019-2020. The corresponding projected tax levy is $19,493,958, or a .04% decrease from that of 2019-2020. The budget includes the continuation of the annual State-aided Capital Outlay Project that allows for one $100,000 project per year that is 90% aidable, making the District’s cost $10,000; the Board chose a project at Batavia Middle School to replace all exterior doors with new security doors, update wiring to tie the new doors in with the existing security system, and redo landscaping.
The public also will vote on using a combination of State building aid and the District’s capital reserves to fully fund, with no impact on taxes, a $619,151 capital project to replace the Jackson Primary playground with one that is age-appropriate for the school’s pre-kindergarten through first grade students. The current playground at Jackson was designed for elementary/intermediate students and the new playground, if approved, would address safety requirements and equipment upgrades. In addition, the restroom area serving the lobby would be reconfigured to add a bathroom that is accessible to pre-kindergarten classes using the multipurpose room. The proposal includes:
- Playground equipment upgrades to meet current safety standards
- Designated age-group areas with age-appropriate equipment and safety features
- Rubber flooring instead of traditional wood chips
- Appropriate distancing of equipment to optimize safety
- Reconstruction of lobby-area restrooms
The public hearing for the proposed budget is June 2, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be conducted remotely and live-streamed on the District’s YouTube channel. BOE president Patrick Burk is urging those residents who have questions about the budget or capital project proposals to email those questions (and include their name, address, and contact information) to BAWitkop@bataviacsd.org by 12 noon on May 31, 2020.
Voters will also be asked to select three Board of Education members. Candidates include (in alphabetical order) Alice Ann Benedict, Barbara Bowman, and Tanni Bromley. As with any Board election, there is an option for write-in candidates as well. The candidate with the least number of votes will serve from June 9, 2020, through June 30, 2021, to fill a vacated position that has been filled by appointment for the interim leading up to this vote. The other two elected candidates will serve for three-year terms, from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023.
Voting will take place by postage-paid absentee ballot only. All ballots are due back to the District by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2020.
As required by NYS, the District will mail the ballots with the return postage paid, and a post-card announcing the budget hearing date and time. This year’s stream-lined timetable also necessitated that the State-required Budget Notice chart that describes the current proposal as well as comparison figures, usually included in our budget newsletter, will also be a postcard mailing to assure that those figures are received by tax-payers six days prior to the voting deadline. Our full budget newsletter, which contains more details, could not be prepared and mailed in time to meet the State’s required six-day timetable, is scheduled to arrive as an insert to the GV PennySaver on the weekend of June 5, 2020. For those with online access, it will be posted earlier on our website.
All budget-related information will be posted on our website (bataviacsd.org) as each document is prepared. The direct link to the website page for budget page is https://www.bataviacsd.org/Page/36 . In addition, the District’s YouTube channel (which has previous Board meetings and will livestream the budget hearing on June 2) is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8JI99xyBJt1sGdRzmCW2Kg