By Kathryn G. Menu
Residents of the Bridgehampton Union Free School District will have the opportunity to weigh in on a $10.6 million proposed budget next week — a budget that increases spending by 5.63 percent, but that will add no new programs in the district.
According to the proposed budget, the 5.63 percent increase in spending will cover a $564,824 increase in contractual expenses, and nothing more. Otherwise, according to school district superintendent Dr. Lois Favre, the spending plan is basically identical to last year’s voter-approved budget.
The $10,576,714 proposed budget will result in a tax rate of $1.52 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, meaning a homeowner in the district with a house valued at $400,000 would pay about $608 in school taxes.
“Simply put, it funds this year’s expenses, and some technology updates and repairs,” said Dr. Favre, adding the budget is basically a rollover budget from last year.
“With some savings in a few areas realized, we were able to put repairs and technology deemed important into the 2011-2012 plan,” she said.
The district has entered into a five-year plan through Eastern Suffolk BOCES that will allow the school to update classroom computers that no longer are covered under warranty plans and repair newer computers. Future upgrades to technology in the district, said Dr. Favre, will occur over the course of the next four budget years.
That funding was enabled through the district reducing transportation to Eastern Suffolk BOCES by two bus trips, saving the school district about $100,000.
A public hearing on the budget will be held on Tuesday, May 10 at 7 p.m. and a budget newsletter, sent to all district residents, is also available on the school’s website.
The district budget vote and school board election will take place on May 17.
In addition to the budget vote, on May 16, residents will be able to vote for two members of the Bridgehampton School’s Board of Education, although pending a successful write-in campaign, that race is uncontested.
School board president Nicki Hemby will seek her second term on the board, and former school board president Elizabeth Kotz is hoping for her third term with the board.