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Hammond Central BOE adopts 2014-2015 budget

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HAMMOND – Residents will vote whether to approve the district’s 2014-2015 budget that calls for a 1-percent increase in the tax levy when they go to the polls next month.

On Tuesday, Hammond Central School Board of Education members adopted the district’s 2014-2015 budget of $7,316,456 – a $472,026 or 6.8-percent increase over this year’s budget.

The district will seek $69,282 in property taxes - an increase of roughly 1 percent over this year’s levy.

While there were no significant increases in program costs, Board of Cooperative Education Services administration, health, and retirement expenses will increase significantly next year, Interim Superintendent Randy C. Richards said. BOCES Administrative charges increased by $20,999, retirement increased by more than $20,000 and health insurance costs increased by more than $50,000.

The increased costs have caused the district to dig deeper into its fund balance. The district will use $528,782 next year to offset costs. This year, the district used $313,488 - $215,294 or 6.9 percent less than what it will use next year.

Mr. Richards said the state continues to shortchange districts in annual aid.

“Mathematically, this is impossible to maintain,” Mr. Richards said. “We’re not making a gigantic jump in program costs, it’s mostly administrative. We are running out of options.”

The date of the budget hearing has yet to be determined. The district’s budget vote will be from 1:30 to 8 p.m. May 20 at the school.

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