Superintendent Michael Hynes has two budget presentations on his agenda this week to ensure town residents know what the numbers are.
He’ll be outlining the full $10.47 million budget that would raise the tax levy by 1.7 percent at a meeting tonight, Monday, at the school at 6 p.m. He’ll do the same on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Shelter Island Public Library.
When residents vote between noon and 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20 at the school gymnasium, Dr. Hynes wants to them to understand that while staying within the state-imposed tax cap, the Board of Education has adopted a budget that will allow not only retention of existing programs, but expansion of both programs and staff in the 2014-15 school year.
If the budget passes, spending would increase by $425,064 or 4.23 percent above the current budget. But additional New York State aid accounts for the ability to raise spending without piercing the tax cap.
Voters, who previously approved the creation of a capital reserve fund for major projects will now be asked to approve spending money from that fund to install an acid neutralization tank, replace door locksets, install flooring and rugs and a new fire alarm system and do some brick repointing and masonry renovations. Since the funds have already been put aside, the expenditure won’t add to this year’s taxes.
Among additions, there are plans to add to the budget:
• A pre-school program for 4-year-olds.
• A new first grade teacher since there won’t be a combined kindergarten and first grade class in the fall because of the number of students that would involve.
• A new dean who will coordinate sports and gym programs as well as tackling various other administrative responsibilities.
• Restoration of a cross country varsity program for boys and girls.
• A part-time English as a Second Language teacher.
• A foreign language teacher to instruct kindergarten through fifth grade students one period per week in Greek, Latin and Spanish. Greek and Latin are new to the curriculum.
• A field trip for sixth graders to the Frost Valley YMCA in the Catskills to participate in team-building activities.
• A school store for the purchase of supplies.
• A new truck to replace one from 1998 and a new gymnasium scoreboard.
Voters will also be electing Board of Education members. Three incumbents — Linda Eklund, Elizabeth Melichar-Lechmanski and Alfred Brigham — are running unopposed