MIDDLEPORT — Members of the Royalton-Hartland School Board have approved a $25.6 million school budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

The spending plan drives a tax levy increase of 2.2 percent. 

The projected tax levy, $10.1 million, is about $219,000 more than the current levy; and according to district Superintendent Henry Stopinski, the increase is under the 2.76 percent tax levy cap.

The district will receive almost $13.7 million in state aid, 3 percent or $415,000 more than in 2017-2018.

The proposed budget calls for the use of about $1.5 million of fund balance, about $574,000 more than the current budget.

Tax rates for the different towns in the district won't be calculated until after assessment rolls are finalized in July, according to Stopinski.

Year-over-year spending increases are attributed to pay increases for staff and the addition of some staff, according to Stopinski. The district will employ a full-time agriculture teacher, a post that used to be shared with Orleans-Niagara BOCES, due to popularity of the program with students. Also, one part-time music teaching post and one part-time chemistry teaching post were upgraded to full-time posts. Also, the district is now paying for a full-time superintendent on its own, since the end of the shared services agreement with Barker Central School District in light of Roger Klatt's retirement.

Capital spending is projected to decrease by 4.5 percent, about $132,000, in FY 2018-2019. District officials said that's mainly due to retirements in the maintenance and facility departments and "right sizing" capital costs.

Stopinski and Business Administrator Andrew Lang, both newcomers to Roy-Hart, believe the budget is solid. 

"We're pretty pleased" with it, Stopinski said. "We both had about a month to take the information in."

The school board will host the annual budget hearing at 6:30 p.m. May 3 in the Roy-Hart library media center. From there, the budget goes to an up-or-down vote by the public on May 15. 

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