DEXTER The General Brown Central School District Board of Education is only a month into its 2013-14 budget development process and already faces a $1.6 million deficit.
Superintendent Stephan J. Vigliotti Sr. said half of that is from bullet aid thats run out and use of reserves for the Teacher Retirement System, while the other half comes from an increase in expenses.
Obviously, with the governors budget, nothing has changed, as far as revenues, Mr. Vigliotti said during the boards monthly meeting Monday. Ultimately, weve lost $5.3 million in the last three years in state aid. Weve never had cuts were looking at this year never.
Mr. Vigliotti said he plans to meet with state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, and Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, D-Theresa, to request support for the district, particularly when it comes to $203 million in a fiscal stabilization fund thats supposed to be used as one-time financial relief to districts facing extraordinary increases in fixed costs, including pension contributions. That money was earmarked in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomos 2013-14 budget.
Mr. Vigliotti said some districts have not had cuts as severe as General Brown, while the district will most likely again face a double-digit decline in work force and a continued expense reduction. In the last three years, the district has eliminated 29 positions.
Looking at cutting costs, board members were provided Monday with a list of school vendors with annual contracts. Mr. Vigliotti said the district might see a savings with a few vendors if requests for proposals were again sent out for those services.
To further help the planning process, board member Daniel J. Dupee II requested a projection of the districts year-end cash flow.
Meanwhile, Mr. Vigliotti said theres some confusion about the 2 percent tax cap because with several exclusions, General Brown could raise taxes 5.3 percent.
Board member Michael E. Kucharski asked Mr. Vigliotti what the districts strategy for explaining that to the public would be, to which Mr. Vigliotti said that information has been provided at the districts budget advisory committee meetings.
The real question is whether the board feels itd be supported or not, Mr. Vigliotti said.
With the added fiscal challenges the district faces, board members will receive guidance from Superintendent Jack J. Boak of the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services during their March 25 meeting regarding merger possibilities.