Margaretville school budget shows 4.8% tax levy increase

By Brian Sweeney
Margaretville Central School District voters will be asked to approve a new budget on May 20 that shows a 4.8 percent tax levy increase.
The proposed 2008-2009 budget totals $10,673,038, up from $9,983,603, an increase of 6.9 percent. The district expects an increase in state aid which will help reduce the increase in the tax levy.
Superintendent John Riedl, in his annual budget summary, indicated that fuel and heating costs are among the items having the impact on the spending plan. He noted that next year’s fuel oil will cost $3.24 per gallon compared to $2.29 this year. Diesel fuel, which cost the district $2.82 per gallon this year, will rise to $4 per gallon under next year’s contract rate.
As a result of these increases, the budget for operation and maintenance of school buildings will increase from $521,018 to $607,664.
Other areas of increase include raises in employee contracts and benefits.
“The board and I believe that we have quality employees — for both teaching and support staff — and they are worth what they are paid,” stated Mr. Riedl.
“The MCS District’s after-school and summer programs are in doubt for next year,” Mr. Riedl said. These programs were partially funded by the state this year, but the status of such funding for next year will not be announced until June.
In addition to the budget vote, residents will be asked to approve two smaller buses for routes with smaller numbers of students. The expenditure for the buses will not exceed $106,000 and the money will come from the district’s fund balance.
Margaretville resident Randall Moore will be running for a vacant position on the school board. Fred Miller chose not to seek re-election.
Voting for district residents will be on Tuesday, May 20 from 2 to 8 p.m. in the school cafeteria.