School District considers minibus purchase or lease


The Shelter Island School District is contemplating the purchase of a 20-seat minibus that would expand its ability to transport students to on- and off-Island venues.

District Business Leader Linda Haas provided information at Monday’s Board of Education meeting from the State Education Board and other area districts. The Board believes it can save about $40,000 through the purchase or lease of a minibus operated by volunteers. There’s also the possibility of state aid to offset costs.

Volunteers would have to be properly licensed and their hours would be limited to 29 hours of service in a school year.

Todd Gulluscio, who handles sports and other responsibilities for the district, is taking on management of the project.

In other business: Ms. Haas outlined a $650,766 budget proposal to cover spending for facilities, capital expenses and use of Eastern Suffolk BOCES costs. That represents a 25.32 percent increase over the $519,263 spending in the current year.

Among the increases projected are:
• Security projects, including window treatments that would delay by about 12 minutes someone trying to enter the building with a weapon, including an ax, to try to break windows. That time is critical to getting students and staff to safe areas within the building, Ms. Finn said.
• Additional security cameras.
• Debt service that would rise from $569,839 to $635,041.
• Contractual obligations, including salaries and benefits.

The cost of operating the school cafeteria would go up by 2.12 percent over what is allocated for the current year with increases in salaries, food, goods and contractual spending.

All numbers are preliminary and could change as the Board of Education examines the budget proposal.

On February 11, Ms. Haas will outline a proposal for spending on educational programs, to be followed March 4 with a workshop where Board of Education members will look for ways to cut spending.

The board is scheduled for a budget overview on March 11 and, if needed, another workshop March 25.

All of these sessions are at 6 p.m. in the Board Conference Room and are open to the public. The budget sessions also stream on the town website and on Channel 22.