WCS school board begins budget process
On Jan. 11, the Warrensburg School District's Budget committee began their process of debating and drafting a financial plan for a 2010-11 budget.
The school board chose members of the Citizens Advisory Committee, which is empowered to help draft a budget.
This year's advisory committee consists of: Elaine Cowin, Sheila Mender, Terry Leguire, Michael Currie and Diane Angel.
At this panel's first meeting, school officials said that with the drastic reductions in State Aid and the scheduled pay hikes for employees and increased expenses of their benefits, the school district's tax levy was projected to increase 14.5 percent unless offsetting reductions are made.
Cowin stated the Citizens Advisory Committee is the "sounding board for the community," and she was concerned over potential job cuts, and how $2.2 million dollars of the fund balance could perhaps be used to prevent it from happening. School superintendent Timothy Lawson stated that the lines of communication between the taxpayers and the board need to be open.
Currie stated that he thinks the Citizens Advisory Committee has to represent a cross-section of the community, including taxpayers, advising the board to provide "affordable value" in education.
Warrensburg School board member Dean Moore suggested that advisory committee members should gather input from the public on what direction the school board should take. School board president John MicGlire suggested that citizens not only air criticisms of the budget, but to also provide solutions.
School district taxpayers and citizens with questions or concerns are welcome to contact a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee, MicGlire and Moore said. The next budget meeting will be at 6 p.m. Monday Feb. 1 in the high school library.
Highway chief praised for surplus
Warrensburg Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty announced Jan. 13 that the town Highway Department has spent less than budgeted for the second year in a row, and there is now $50,000 or so extra in their account.
The board voted Jan. 13 to transfer the extra money into an equipment account for future use. All other town departments have met their budget limitations, he said.
Geraghty praised Superintendent of Highways Ed Pennock for his effective management of expenses, particularly considering that state revenues had decreased substantially.
The new town Zoning Administrator & Code Enforcement Officer Christopher Belden was introduced to the citizens attending the meeting. As of Jan. 4, he replaced Matt Securo who resigned recently.
Geraghty said that the removal of old play equipment at the town Tot-Lot had been completed, and construction will begin soon on the playground underwritten substantially by a state grant.
He also announced that the town is consulting with state Department of Health, which is conducting a study of the corrosion occurring in the town's water system that is apparently is leading to excess levels of copper.
The town skating rink is ready for use now, Geraghty said.
The board also scheduled a meeting for 4 p.m. Monday Jan. 25 to review insurance proposals.
North Country Ministry seeks clothing
North Country Ministry's outreach center and its "Baby's Place" room are located at 3933 Main St. At this time they need girls clothing from Newborn size to 3T. They also need warm winter coats for adults and children. For more information, the center can be reached at 623-2829. The hours for the local center are Monday from 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 1 to 4 p.m.
Church gathering donations for needy
Parishioners of St. Cecilia's Catholic Community are now seeking to collect children's swimming suits to send to Naimbia. If anyone has any such items outgrown by their children, drop them off at St Cecilia's Church. There will be a collection box in the church narthex.
Most churches in town are designating all or part of their weekly collections to be sent to the relief efforts in Haiti, considering the devastation that has occurred due to the recent earthquake.
(Editor's Note: Readers are urged to contact Lynn Smith with any significant event or news you would like to go into this column, including special community parties, life milestones or significant achievements. News of church, club and scouting activities, and school events are all welcome.)