No Tax Increase Anticipated At Randolph Central School

RANDOLPH — No tax increase is anticipated for 2019 in the Randolph Central School District and officials are confident they will reach their educational goals for the upcoming school year.

“We anticipate no tax increase this year,” said Superintendent Kaine Kelly. “We have a positive outlook this year and hope to reach our educational goals while being responsible to our community members.”

At a recent meeting, the Randolph Central School District approved seven items for its capital reserve budget (for building and grounds) that will brought forward for district approval in April.

The board approved to include budget items for the district office, the Gail Chapman Elementary School, the Randolph Senior/Junior High School, custodial, special education, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) programs, and instructional for teachers salaries and internet services. The items and their anticipated amounts will be determined during the board’s April 3 meeting. A public vote will be held May 21.

Since no set amounts for any item have been finalized, exact numbers were not available. In addition, Kelly said that because Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not release his own reserve education budget for the 2019-20 school year, no exact numbers are available.

“The governor is still finalizing them so we won’t know them until he releases his report,” Kelly said.

However, other district officials said the process is nothing new and is moving on schedule. During this period, the district will not approve purchases or appropriations while the budgets are being reviewed.

“This is just informational. This is the final piece of our budget presentations,” business officer Charles Shelvin said. “Over the next month, Kaine and I will look at the most recent revenues projections and finalize the budget for board approval at the April meeting.”

During the recent meeting, the board also heard about the completed tax cap calculation for February. The district’s tax levy limit for the 2019-20 school year is $4,793,402. The tax levy for the 2018-19 school year is a difference of $182,888 at $4,610,514. As a result, the district would have the option to raise taxes by the differential amount (3.96 percent) for the current school year. That amount would consist of $71,764 in carryover from the 2017-18 school year and $111,124 in new levy available to the district. Barring the district does not raise taxes in 2019, $71,901 can be anticipated to carry over into the 2020-21 school year.

At the same time, Shevlin said he is conducting an initial long-term plan to coincide with the 2019-20 budget. The plan is based on programming and services offered by the district and is designed to meet any changes and/or replacements that would take place in the 2019-20 school year.

“This plan will assume we keep the same level of programming and services as we currently have and will allow us to assess the long term impact of any changes/replacement plans as we anticipate,” Shevlin said.

The board also approved to move into the final stages of the Smart Schools Bond Act. The act is part of legislation passed in New York’s 2014-15 enacted budget and authorizes the state to issue $2 billion in general obligation bonds to qualifying school districts. According to the New York State Department of Education, the bonds are to be used to finance purchases of educational technology and infrastructure that will increase learning and opportunity for students in the state.

As part of the smart schools distribution, Randolph received $1 million. The district will use this money for financing new security technology on school property. This is part of a two-year process by which the district has been attempting to modernize its security. Of that money 50 percent will be used to fund the purchase of new cameras for school property. The new cameras that will either replace old ones or will be installed in new areas of school property. The other 50 percent will fund internet security measures on the property. A presentation of the installations will be made at the board’s July 11 meeting.

The board also heard a proposal to host an event honoring National Football League player Marv Hubbard. The proposal also included erecting a stature in Hubbard’s honor. Hubbard was a student of Randolph Central School, a graduate of Colgate University and played eight seasons in the NFL. Of those seasons he played seven with the Oakland Raiders and one with the Detroit Lions.