Shelter Island voters are going to the polls today at the school gymnasium to weigh in on a proposed $11.3 million school district budget; a proposition on extending the distance for district-paid busing from 15 to 16.5 miles to reach Our Lady of the Hamptons School; and selection of three Board of Education members.
Budgeting began in earnest in January and concluded in late April with a plan that increases spending by $360,374 next year from $10.96 million this year.
That brings the budget increase down to 1.29 percent for a tax levy increase of 1.31 percent, under the state imposed cap, so a simple majority is required to approve the budget.
If the budget fails to pass, the Board of Education has a second shot and could opt to submit the same budget or revise it and submit it to voters.
But if it fails a second time, the state would establish a contingency budget for the district in which it would decide what to cut.
Extending the bus route, if approved, would cost about $68,000 and would be paid for in the coming year out of the fund balance.
In future years, this cost would be added to the tax levy. If the proposition fails, the money will remain in the fund balance.
Four candidates are seeking three seats on the Board of Education with the top three vote-getters each securing a three-year term. Incumbents are Alfred Brigham Sr., Linda Eklund and Elizabeth Melichar are incumbents running for re-election. Tracy McCarthy seeks to replace one of the incumbents.
Voting opened at noon today and will stay open until 9 p.m. at the school gymnasium.