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Carthage Central proposes transportation and facilities budget increases

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GREAT BEND — Carthage Central School District’s transportation director is asking for a budget increase of nearly 13 percent next year to cover growing expenses.

“It’s taking more money to get the same job done, essentially,” Transportation Director John K. Gibbons told the Board of Education on Wednesday.

Board members heard presentations on the transportation and facilities budgets for 2013-14.

Mr. Gibbons proposed a total transportation budget of $3,352,316, an increase of $382,500, or 12.9 percent, from this year to pay for four additional drivers and non-salary-related expenses, such as bus insurance and diesel fuel costs.

The cost of bus insurance alone has increased $30,000 this year, Mr. Gibbons said.

The bulk of the budget, $2,156,346, was proposed to go toward drivers, aides and office support salaries.

“We are much tighter than we were at budget time last year,” Mr. Gibbons said. “There’s no frills, no real exciting stuff built into the increase.”

Business Manager Amy M. Marrocco, filling in for Facilities Director Jeremy Theiser, said Mr. Theiser proposed a $3,998,554 budget, an increase of $147,786, or 3.8 percent, from this year’s $3,850,768.

The majority of the cost, $2,038,036, was proposed for operations and maintenance labor, which include salaries, overtime and substitutes. About $1.2 million is proposed for the utilities costs.

Despite the total increase, Mr. Theiser did not anticipate an increase in the gas, electric and water bills, which Ms. Marrocco said were at an “all-time low.”

Ms. Marrocco said Mr. Theiser was hoping to start replacing a truck or van every year and work mowers and floor cleaners into the rotation, if possible.

“He had a rotation schedule in the past, but unfortunately in a difficult budget year, that’s an easy place to cut,” said Superintendent Peter J. Turner.

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