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Morristown residents will vote on budget, bus and Board members Tuesday

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MORRISTOWN – When school district residents vote on May 21 they’ll have the chance to accept or reject a $9 million budget for the 2013-2014 school year, determine whether or not the district purchases a new bus and elected three members of the Board of Education.

Morristown Central School Superintendent David J. Glover reviewed the district’s $9 million budget proposal at Tuesday’s public hearing, saying “this year’s budget is a different story than the past three years. The past three years we always had looming over our heads that we were going to lose money.”

This year the district saw an increase of $264,471 in state aid, a 5.9-percent increase. This year’s $4.7 million state aid total represents 52.6-percent of the total budget.

The budget, a $481,156 increase over last year’s budget, includes a 3.35-percent increase in the district’s tax level which totals $3.4 million.

The school is applying $789,655 in fund balance this year.

“We’ve been fortunate in past years that we have not had to hit the fund balance,” Mr. Glover said. “It’s getting increasingly difficult to maintain that practice.”

The district has roughly $3.3 million in its reserves.

The 2013-2014 budget sets aside money to hire a full-time special education teacher and a full-time elementary teacher.

A social studies and an English position will also be restored from half-time to three-quarters time.

Mr. Glover said the district is also looking to hire a librarian as well as find another people to take on the position of Athletic Director. Currently Mr. Glover is filling that role.

There is $100,000 in next year’s budget is set aside in order to pay for security upgrades, including fitting classroom doors with smaller windows and locks that can be activated from the inside. The project will also focus on installing a more secure front entrance.

Voters will decide whether or not the district purchases a new 65-passenger bus for no more than $125,000. Two older buses would be traded in to help cover the cost of the bus.

In addition, three seats on the Board of Education are available with four people seeking election. Larry Kring III, Mark Blanchard, current Vice President of the Board Darrell Merkel and current Board Member Mary Anne Bailey are all running.

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