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Ogdensburg school board adopts 2014-15 spending plan

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The Ogdensburg Board of Education will present voters with a $39,200,000 spending plan for 2014-2015 that digs deeper into the district’s fund balance, but preserves several jobs for one more year.

The budget, which represents a $2,378,000 million increase from this year, will be put to a public vote May 20.

The adopted budget includes $1.8 million appropriated fund balance, $17.7 in state foundation aid and $6.9 million in property taxes – a 1.05 percent decrease over this year’s levy.

Spending will increase by about 6 percent due to changes in retirement, special education and building costs, Superintendent Timothy M. Vernsey said at Monday’s school board meeting.

The district received additional state aid thanks to the efforts of Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, and state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, Mr. Vernsey said.

The school received $149,448 more in foundation aid this year, totaling $17,731,650.

The district also received $150,000 in bullet aid - $50,000 more than last year - attributed Mrs. Russell.

“There are still significant issues regarding state funding, the Gap Elimination Adjustment and distribution of aid,” Mr. Vernsey said. “I think we need to continue to lobby for those changes going forward.”

Although board members applied $1.8 million from the balance, the district will not lay off employees next year as they initially expected, Business Manager Jeffrey R. Swanson said.

“We’re very happy we got that aid last minute,” Mr. Swanson said.

The budget was unanimously approved by board members.

A public hearing on the budget will be held at 6 p.m. May 6 in Cafeteria B in Ogdensburg Free Academy.

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