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March 1, 2013

School to make budget cuts

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — MIDDLEPORT — In its current form, Royalton-Hartland’s 2013-14 budget features a 3 percent rise in the tax levy and a $37,000 cut in spending.

The $22 million budget comes with another spending reduction for the school district. Doing more with less is something Roy-Hart has done for a few years now, officials said Thursday. For the current school year, Roy-Hart will spend $500,000 or 2 percent less than it did in 2011-12. 

“(The 2013-14 budget) is slightly lower than it was in 2007-08,” said Superintendent Kevin MacDonald. 

Roy-Hart’s tax levy cap is 6.09 percent, but members decided to go with raising the levy by half that amount, or by roughly $272,000 from the current school year total. Revenue from taxes is expected to be around $9.3 million.

To help cover costs, the district will use about 1 percent of its unappropriated fund balance. But board members discussed Thursday whether or not they wanted to increase the balance usage so to cover some other items left off of the budget.

Those items included security upgrades, field trips, athletic and musical equipment. Board members heard from each of the district’s principals about how field trips were being handled despite Roy-Hart watching every penny.

“It seems we’re getting by,” said Board President Patricia Riegle.

There was some interest in security upgrades, which would mostly include upgrading cameras and the televisions needed on the other end. The TVs are at least 13 years old in most buildings, MacDonald said.

However, certain security items are already in the 2013-14 budget, Business Administrator Kelly Griffith said.

Board members want to hear from the district’s athletic and music departments about items they may need. The board meets next on March 14. 

The Board of Education will adopt a budget on April 11. Residents will vote May 21.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.

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