Education

Voters head to polls Tuesday on proposed school budgets

Voters across the North Fork will weigh in Tuesday on proposed 2022-23 school budgets and more..

The Mattituck-Cutchogue School District will present a proposed $42.8 million budget, a budget-to-budget increase of 1.45%. The spending plan includes a tax levy — the amount raised through taxes — of $38.7 million, an increase of 1.84%. That figure stays below the district’s tax cap.

According to the district’s voter guide, the proposal maintains all current programs and “enhances the curriculum by providing coaching for faculty in math and English language arts and increasing availability of professional development.” 

In addition, voters will cast ballots on two separate propositions.

The first calls for the expenditure of $4.2 million from the capital reserve fund created in 2018 for renovations in the existing technology wing to create a state-of-the-art STEM wing at Mattituck High School. The funds will also go toward recoating certain sections of the roof at Cutchogue East Elementary School.

The second proposition involves creating a new 10-year, $10 million capital reserve known as the Mattituck-Cutchogue UFSD 2022 Capital Reserve Fund. The new fund would be used to maintain and improve school infrastructure as outlined in the district’s five-year plan. It will be funded annually with any surplus funds that exist at the end of the year, the district said. Any expenditures from the fund, once established, will require voter approval.

More information on the budget can be found on the district website, mufsd.com.

 The Southold Board of Education adopted a proposed budget of $32.2 million for the upcoming school year on April 13.

That proposal represents a 1.9% increase from last year’s $31.6 million budget. The tax levy under the proposed budget is $28.5 million, marking a 1.71% increase, which stays under the tax cap.

No additional propositions are on the budget.

Chuck Scheid, assistant superintendent for business, said at the May 4 budget hearing that the proposed budget maintains all current programs and staffing. 

For more information on Southold’s budget, contact the district business office. Contact information is available at southoldufsd.com.

The Greenport School District will present a proposed budget of $21.6 million, a budget-to-budget increase of 5.75%. The tax levy increase is 3.11%, which is the district’s maximum allowable increase under the tax cap, according to the school’s budget brochure.

Superintendent Marlon Small said the top priority was to maintain current programs and services offered to students. The budget maintains funding for the district’s pre-K program and maintains the Foreign Language in Elementary School program. The budget also funds the purchase of new instructional resources such as Chromebooks and updated textbooks.

No additional propositions are on the budget. The district is continuing work on the school using funds from the $18 million Capital Improvement Bond passed in 2019.

Work completed during this school year includes the boys’ and girls’ locker rooms, the building’s masonry and installation of a security and public address system.

Additional projects slated for this summer include the start of construction on the auxiliary gym, a home and careers classroom and a new elementary library.

More information on the budget can be found on the district website, gufsd.org.

The Oysterponds School District will present a $5.5 million budget, which is a 1.77% reduction from the current budget. The district’s tax levy is $4.9 million, a 3.79% increase.

Oysterponds voters will decide on three additional propositions.

The first proposes the expenditure of $330,000 from the Capital Reserve fund established in May 2014 toward six projects. The first would be to remove, replace and expand the basketball court. The funds would also be used to repair, patch, and repave the tennis court. The district also wants to expand the west parking area and repair and repave both that lot and the front parking, and install new sidewalks in front and on the side of the school building. The funds would also cover related costs and professional services associated with these projects.

The second proposition would extend the term for the capital reserve by an additional 10 years, which would allow ongoing deposits into the reserve up to $2.5 million. The current term is set to expire at the end of the 2022-23 school year.

A third ballot measure proposes to raise by tax a 12-month appropriation of $498,918 for the benefit of Floyd Memorial Library, “provided the Greenport Union Free School District #10 elects to make a (12) month appropriation of $567,147.”

More information on Oysterponds budget can be found on the district website, oysterponds.org. 

The New Suffolk Common School District will need approval from at least 60% of voters in order to pass its proposed $1.1 million budget, which reflects a 2.7% increase. The proposed tax levy rises from $929,500 to $995,000.

“It has been a difficult budget to construct as we have had to deal with several unique situations,” said a letter to residents from the district’s Board of Trustees outlining the budget.

The district expects non-tax revenue to decline by about $28,000, in part due to a nonresident tuition student graduating and a recent decision by the Board of Trustees to reduce tuition, resulting in “substantial reduction in non-tax revenue,” the letter said.

“The combined total of some $58,000 necessitates an increase in the tax levy of an equal amount,” the letter added. “This increase exceeds the state tax cap and so the budget vote this year must ‘override’ the cap by receiving an approval rating of 60% or greater.”

The proposed budget anticipates an operating deficit, as was the case in the current budget. The district said fluctuations in total student enrollment for the small district, which typically ranges between 24 and 27 students, is the main reason for the budget difficulties.

Support for the New Suffolk budget has been nearly unanimous in recent years. Last year’s vote was 37-2 in favor. In 2020, when the pandemic allowed for expanded absentee voting, the budget was approved by a vote of 103-5. In 2019, the vote was 50-2 in favor.

No additional propositions are on the ballot this year.

How to vote

Mattituck

Polls open 3-9 p.m.,
high school gymnasium

Southold

Polls open 3-9 p.m.,

high school gymnasium

Greenport

Polls open 2-8 p.m.,

high school gymnasium

Oysterponds

Polls open 2-8 p.m.,

school gymnasium

New Suffolk

Polls open 3-9 p.m.,

New Suffolk School

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