Mattituck proposes $42.8M school budget, new capital reserve fund
Mattituck-Cutchogue school district will propose a new 2022 capital reserve fund capped at $10 million to go before voters in May, according to superintendent Shawn Petretti.
The announcement came at Thursday’s board of education meeting during a presentation of the proposed 2022-2023 budget, which would increase 1.45% to about $42.8 million. The tax levy, the amount of money raised through taxes, would increase by 1.84% to about $38.7 million and stay under the state-imposed tax cap of 2%.
“We are presenting what we believe to be a very responsible budget, a fiscally sound budget that supports all those things that we value,” Mr. Petretti said.
He added that Kevin Coffey, the business and operations administrator for the district, recommended a $10 million cap on the new reserve fund.
“This will allow us to fund the projects that we discussed and identified as needs in the five-year plan,” Mr. Petretti said.
Mr. Petretti presented the five-year plan in December and it includes projects such as upgrading the district’s technology infrastructure and replacing the playground at Cutchogue East, among other items. He proposed the plan be revised every November.
“It is my recommendation that every November we review and update the five-year plan,” Mr. Petretti said during the meeting. “It’s changed quite a bit since I presented it two months ago.”
If approved, the new capital reserve would come after voters approved the expenditure of over $4.2 million from the 2018 capital reserve fund, which is capped at $6 million.
Those funds would go to the renovation of the STEM wing at Mattituck Jr/Sr High School, costing $3.4 million, Mr. Petretti said. The other $800,000 leftover would be directed toward the recoating of the Cutchogue East roof, if approved by voters.
There would be a 10-year term to fund the proposed 2022 capital reserve plan and it would initially be funded by a transfer of $2 million the district has in its repair reserves.
“That repair reserve is very well funded, we are very comfortable with taking $2 million out of that repair reserve to use for some of our future projects,” Mr. Petretti said.
Then it would be funded annually with surplus funds remaining in the general fund each year, Mr. Petretti said.
Further specifics on the budget will be presented at upcoming budget hearings in March, Mr. Petretti said.
While presenting the budget, Mr. Petretti mentioned that the building principals and department heads will be making their presentations during the upcoming budget hearings in March. The budget vote is scheduled for May 17.