Sag Harbor Schools Adopts $29 million Budget

Posted on 26 March 2009

After weeks of numerous budget meetings and workshops, the Sag Harbor school’s board of education adopted the budget for the 2009-2010 school year.

On Monday night, at the board meeting, the board unanimously voted to adopt the 2009-2010 budget in the amount of $29,640,657, an increase of $950,000 over last year’s spending plan.

The tax rate for the proposed budget will see an increase of 4.33 percent for East Hampton residents and a 4.35 percent increase for Southampton Town residents.

That means for a home in the Sag Harbor school district located in Southampton Town, the dollar change per $1,000 of assessed valuation would be $.18 and in East Hampton it would be $28.58. 

When the budget goes to a vote on May 19, there will also be two propositions on the ballot for voters.

One will be a proposition to move $71,185 from the capital reserve fund — a surplus fund — for repairs on the high school roof, elementary gym floor and auditorium renovation — projects that have already been completed. Superintendent Dr. John Gratto informed members at the meeting that this will not affect the tax levy or the tax revenue.

Another item on the May vote will include $165,000 for the purchase of a bus and a van, which Gratto and business manager Len Bernard maintain will save the district $126,000 in transportation costs per year.

The board of education also approved the contingency budget, which would be adopted if the proposed budget is voted down. The contingency budget is based on a New York State Education Department calculation and is $29,410,810 — a difference of just over $200,000.

Audience member and PTA president Chris Tice said that if the contingency budget were to be adopted, the savings to taxpayers would be “eight cents a day” for a resident in the village.

“Is it so important to get eight cents a day? To say no to these kids and cut their program?” said Tice.

“Eight cents here, eight cents to the fire department, I feel like I’m watching paid programming,” said one audience member to the man seated next to him. 

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