This Tuesday, May 17th, Nyack voters passed the school district’s $80,700,000 2016-2017 budget and voted affirmatively for two propositions regarding the Capital Reserve Fund, which is essentially a “rainy day fund.” The first proposition allows the district to expend up to $5,000,000 (the current balance) from the Capital Reserve Fund, created in 2010 and increased in 2014. The second proposition allows the district to increase the capital reserve fund from $5,000,000 to $10,000,000 and increase the probable term from 10 to 11 years.
The passed budget is a 2.69 percent increase from the previous year’s budget, but will only levy a tax increase of 0.24% (or $161,000). The district said that they will offset increases by using approximately one million dollars in fund balance reserves to improve district programs and facilities. “This plan, if approved, maintains class sizes throughout all schools and supports exciting new initiatives such as Aerospace Engineering, Advanced Music Technology, Biomedical Engineering, Financial Literacy and CPR Training for our students,” reads a district memo. “The plan also supports improvements to our school buildings through the use of approximately [one million dollars] in fund balance reserves, which means that there is no additional cost to the taxpayers.”
The projects that the capital funds will go towards include locker improvements and new PA systems at the middle school and high school, baseball field improvements at the middle school, and installation of carbon monoxide detectors in all school buildings to comply with a new New York State mandate. The District also noted that it “anticipates receiving a NYS grant to install motorized bleachers in the [Nyack High School] gym.”
The three School Board Trustees on the ballot, Michael Mark (a sixth term, 28-year resident), Terrance Rock (a BOE appointed first term, 16-year resident) , and Damon Bender (a 12-year resident), ran unopposed and were unsurprisingly affirmed. There was at least one write-in vote for “Nicky Dubs.”