Southold School Board adopts $29.9 million budget

The Southold Board of Education adopted a $29,981,000 budget for the 2018-19 school year at its meeting last Wednesday, April 18. 

The proposed spending plan is a 1.84 percent, or $541,000, increase over the 2017-18 budget and remains under the district’s tax levy cap, officials said. The board approved the budget with a 4-0 vote. Board member Scott Latham was absent from the meeting. 

For owners of property assessed at $3,000, they will see a monthly increase of $3, or $42 annually, in their taxes. For property assessed at $9,800 the monthly increase is projected at $11, or $136 annually.

Some of the biggest increases include the purchase of textbooks, the budget for which is expected to increase by 50 percent, and a $325,000 increase in tuition payments for students to attend out of district programs.

As Superintendent David Gamberg said earlier this month, nearly 70 percent of the budget goes for salaries, which will see a nearly $275,000 increase over the current year’s amount.

There are noticeable decreases in the finalized budget as well, including a 59 percent drop in money needed for equipment and a 17 percent decrease in BOCES costs for the upcoming school year.

The district is receiving the same amount of federal aid next school year as it did this year — $125,000 — and is expected to net over $1.88 million in state aid, a .78 percent increase over the 2017-18 budget.

The budget vote is Tuesday, May 15 from 3 to 9 p.m. in the Southold Jr./Sr. High School gymnasium. 

Additionally, residents can vote for the school board candidates at that time. This year is a contested race with incumbents Paulette Ofrias and John Crean, along with newcomer Amy Bennett, vying for two open seats on the board. Each person elected will serve a three-year term.

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