CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – A $110.2 million spending plan for the 2019-20 school year was unanimously adopted three weeks ago by the Katonah-Lewisboro Board of Education.
The budget is now in the hands of the voters, who will head to the polls on Tuesday, May 21.
Though little has changed since Superintendent Andrew Selesnick first presented the budget in February, state aid projections were off by $259,525.
Michael Jumper, assistant superintendent for business, said this was not driven by a change in formula at the state, but rather as a result of the district’s reduced contribution to BOCES.
The bulk of that reduced state contribution would be made up through property taxes: $200,000 was added to the tax levy while the other $59,525 was tacked on to the district’s interest projections.
“We’re confident that we’ll earn that interest,” Jumper said at the April 4 meeting of the school board.
The total tax levy is $97.95 million, a 1.61 increase over last year. Jumper said Katonah-Lewisboro came in $883,503 lower than the state-imposed property tax cap.
The projected tax rate changes for the district’s four towns are:
• Bedford: -2.63 percent
• Lewisboro: 3.45 percent
• North Salem: 3.62 percent:
• Pound Ridge: 3.05 percent
“I believe the assessments will change somewhat between now and when they’re finalized,” Jumper said. “As a result, some of the levy may move from one of these towns to another, and the rates may fluctuate as well. We always say that these rates are approximations.”
The district is also asking voters’ permission to transfer $648,485 from its capital fund to purchase:
• Four 66-passenger buses ($116,200 each);
• One wheelchair-accessible van ($72,610);
• One transportation garage service truck ($61,150); and
• One operations and maintenance “rack” truck ($49,925)
This proposition remains unchanged since being proposed six weeks ago.
Three seats on the Katonah-Lewisboro School District Board of Education are up for grabs this year, but only two candidates will appear on the May 21 ballot.
Incumbent Julia Hadlock, of South Salem, and Elizabeth Gereghty, of Katonah, were the only two people to file the required petitions and signatures by the April 22 deadline, setting up an unusual school board election.
District Clerk Kimberly Monzon said the third seat can be decided by a write-in vote.
Leah Pizer, of Goldens Bridge, has publicly announced her intention to mount a write-in campaign.