Warwick Valley School Budget places priority on safety and security
On May 15, the Warwick Valley School District is asking voters to approve the school budget.
The $92,819,749 budget has a spending increase of 3 percent and a tax levy increase of 2.95 percent.
Each year, we try to improve on our schools, whether it is advancing technology, offering more curriculum choices for students, increasing professional development and training for teachers or enhancing the students learning environment and experience. While staying within the tax cap, we have been able to improve our schools.
This school budget year, the Superintendent of Schools, David Leach, and the Board of Education have placed a strong focus on security. Even though the district has always been mindful of the safety of our students and staff, recent events have prompted the district to do more.
• The district now has four full-time Police officers on duty – one at each school.
• We currently have seven security guards, and two additional evening security guards will be added – one at the high school and one at the middle school.
• In addition, we are adding an enhanced security camera system that will be positioned throughout the District.
• We will create a single-point entry at the high school, which will be completed by the start of next school year.
• The district also recently installed GPS equipment on all our district vehicles that will provide, among other things, district vehicle locations at any given time.
These security additions will complement the improvements we have made in the past.
Along with asking the voters to approve the budget, we are also calling upon voters to approve two propositions.
The first is a proposition to purchase five school buses. These buses will replace buses that are between ten and fifteen years old that have high mileage and high maintenance costs.
There is no additional tax increase to purchase buses, because the district receives transportation aid of approximately 56.4 percent on our bus purchases and we will be using $300,000 saved in a bus reserve to offset the cost.
This year we need to purchase one 21-passenger wheelchair van, one 29-passenger van and three 65-passenger propane-powered buses.
The second proposition is to fund a repair reserve. A repair reserve is a savings tool to pay for the cost of repairs for capital improvements and equipment that do not recur annually.
This is important because we have closed school buildings, for which we do not receive building aid on repairs (Pine Island and Kings) and this reserve can pay for any unanticipated expenses such a roof or boilers.
It is important to take care of these schools; we collect more than $300,000 annually in rent from Kings and Pine Island tenants.
Eventually, these buildings will need costly repairs. This reserve will help the District save for these expenses.
I am very proud of the Warwick Valley Central School District. I encourage everyone to vote on May 15, 2018 to show your support.
We truly have a great community, and together we can continue to be one of the best districts in the region.
Assistant Superintendent for Business
Warwick Valley Central School District
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