Local News

FC School District levy up 4 cents; board upset about HVAC progress

Signal Editor

The Fillmore Central School Board met in regular session last week and also set the 2020-2021 tax levy for the school district.
FC School Board President P.J. O’Connor opened and closed a Budget Hearing on Monday, September 14, to begin the meeting. The 2020-2021 levy for the FC School District will be 64.8880 cents—about four cents more than the previous year. The coming year’s tax-asking will be $7.703 million—a 2.5 percent increase from the current $7.524 million. The FC School District’s total assessed property valuation went down four percent from $1.233 billion to $1.187 billion.
“It is an increase from last year,” FC Superintendent Josh Cumpston said. “Most of the increase is in the area of instruction—both staff salary and benefit increases. Also, with the trend of valuations coming down a little, I think it’s important to keep enough money in cash reserve (the school district has a cash reserve of $2.38 million). And, because of the valuation change, some increase was needed.”
The new budget has $505,051 earmarked for the Special Building Fund—down from $860,815.
“We have put less in the Special Building Fund to help offset the General Fund Budget,” Cumpston said. “I am also anticipating some increased costs associated with COVID-19. We’re doing more cleaning, things like that…there’s just more costs associated with providing education right now.”
The school district’s upcoming General Fund Budget will be $10.360 million.
The regular meeting was a busy one with a lengthy agenda. Some of the agenda items included:
• Bart Brinkman talked to the school board for about 10 minutes about school consolidation.
• During his report, Cumpston told the school board that ESU No. 6 Director of Professional Development April Kelly was at the high school on September 2 to provide training in Canvas. Teachers Sadie Jones and Doreen Schelkopf and FC Elementary Principal Aaron Veleba also provided additional training in Canvas and Seesaw to the teaching staff.
• During Veleba’s report to the school board, the frustrating progress with the HVAC project at the elementary school was discussed at length. Veleba reported he isn’t sure of how much progress is currently happening on the project. He said he believes work is happening in the boiler room, but work finishing up in the areas that are visible in the school area isn’t happening.