During their April 19 meeting, Minerva Central School Board members approved the 2012-2013 budget.
The total amount was $5,040,939, a 1.1 percent or $54,938 increase from last year’s budget.
The tax levy increase was 2.96 percent, which does not exceed the state maximum allowable increase.
The board and the administration have taken several steps in order to help the public understand the budget process. The school’s website homepage has a link that allows anyone to view the tax cap formula and relevant financial information. In addition, Superintendent Timothy Farrell included an article in the April edition of the school newsletter addressing the tax cap in detail in an effort dispel misconceptions and clarify how the formula works.
Before voting on the budget, Board President Mike Corey took a few moments to acknowledge all the hard work that administrators and fellow board members put into creating the budget. He noted the challenges that developing this budget presented while praising the conscientiousness and diligence of everyone involved in the process. The public vote on the school budget is scheduled for May 15.
The board approved putting three buses out to bid. Bus No. 30, Bus No. 31, and Bus No. 33 were no longer able to pass inspection. They also approved a request by the school to bond in order to purchase a new 59-seat bus not that would not exceed $104, 968.80 in cost.
During his report to the board, Farrell informed members that the plan to create a self-contained classroom for special education students was moving forward and would be in place this year. Starting off, the room will provide service to six students and have one teacher and one paraprofessional. He also noted that as early as this coming year, they may consider offering service to other districts on a tuition basis.
Farrell also shared with the board that at the most recent “True North” meeting—where representatives from the Indian Lake, Minerva, Johnsburg, Newcomb and Long Lake districts gather to discuss various issues—Minerva was recognized as being the best attended school in the region. The various schools discussed ways that they could work together in order to benefit all students. Sharing resources between special education programs and finding ways to further utilize distance learning technologies to enhance and enrich student learning, were two of the major topics discussed.
The board accepted with regret the resignation with the purpose of retirement of Robin Keleher, who has taught social studies at Minerva for the past 10 years. Corey read a note of thanks that she had written to the board in which she thanked them for the opportunity to teach at Minerva and called it her “dream job.”
Several board members and administrators will be attending the Community Service Award Dinner that will be held on May 10 at the Great Escape Lodge. A Minerva student, Messena Green, is being honored at this event for her community service. The event begins at 6 p.m.