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Chautauqua Lake board approves budget

April 7, 2016
By Katrina Fuller ( , Westfield Republican

A budget for the upcoming 2016-17 school year has been approved by the Chautauqua Lake Central School District Board of Education.

With a general fund budget increase of 2.91 percent, the approved budget totals $22,040,495. The tax levy included a .20 percent increase for a total of $11,261,424.

The budget includes an additional $622,477 from the 2015-16 budget, which equates to a 2.91 percent increase.

Benjamin Spitzer, superintendent, said a lot of hard work went into the budget.

"Many of those (line items) are not much different than last year, so there's not a lot of pick-ups in terms of major changes," Spitzer said. "We don't know what our state aid is. As of midday today, I was notified there still wasn't a (state) budget. So, stay tuned on that front and hopefully we'll have some good news."

He said the district took a few liberties with programs such as drivers education and co-curricular activities and assumed the board wanted those to continue.

Spitzer reported that there is a 2.47 percent decrease in the capital section of the budget, while there is a 5.44 percent decrease in the administrative portion of the budget.

"The reason for the drop in the capital budget primarily is we have taken out some of the money we had put in (to maintenance of plant)," he said. "If you remember, we added $250,000 there to help us to take care of capital needs, but now that we have the capital project, we were able to take that out of there."

For the 2015-16 budget, under the contractual line, $355,000 was allotted, however the 2015-17 line only allots $105,000.

The board took a vote on the proposed budget and approve it unanimously.

An annual budget hearing is scheduled for May 10 and the annual budget vote and board member election is scheduled for May 17, according to

Also during the meeting, a new board member was sworn in to replace former board member, Timothy Hull.

Hull resigned from the board due to a new position as town of Chautauqua justice.

Jay Baker, board president, said he had worked with Hull for many years and had gotten to know him very well during his time on the board.

"He'd take on any thankless job thrown at him and do it a great job," Baker said. "He's one of the best board members I've ever had the chance to work with."

The board official accepted Hull's resignation with regret unanimously.

Kenneth Shearer was approved by the board and immediately sworn in as a member. He will serve from March 30 until June 30, 2016.

The board congratulated Shearer on his new role and welcomed him to the board.

Members of the board could not offer a comment on the pending court proceedings involving the superintendent.

Spitzer was recently charged with DWI and DWI per se in Busti Justice Court, and will reappear in Busti Justice Court on April 20.

No public comments were made during the meeting and no members of the public were in attendance.

The meeting went into executive session to discuss collective negotiations with an instructional bargaining union.



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