Westfield School Board OKs Budget

WESTFIELD — Westfield Academy and Central School District board of education members approved a budget for the 2019-20 school year without any increase in the tax levy at their regular April meeting.

WACS Superintendent David Davison noted that an increase of $65,000 in state aid helped to reduce the need to increase the tax levy and reduced the amount to be transferred from the general fund to $26,000.

The total budget of $16,470,518 marks a decrease of $1,900 from the current budget. General instruction expenditures have decreased by $287,000 due to the retirement of several long-time employees. Support services have increased by $222,000.

Davison explained that since the school district covers three townships whose tax rates vary, some residents may experience an increase in property taxes, but this would not be caused by the school.

‘This is what we are going out with,” Davison said. “Residents may or may not see a tax increase, but that is out of the school’s hands.”

Aid from the state increased from $9,937,000 to $10,183,000, Davison said. Transfer from the fund balance decreased from $291,000 to $26,000, he said.

The budget is designed to allow the district to continue to enhance security, maintain the physical campus and keep current programming and opportunities for students. Davison noted that work on hardening the entrance to the school would take place beginning on Good Friday.

All work should be complete by the following Friday, he said. Additionally, two more cameras and all of the “blue lights,” which give a visual warning of an emergency, should be completed.

“That should wrap up our capital outlay project for this year,” he said.

He noted that the school still needs a few cameras and blue lights outside, which will be a part of the capital outlay for next year.

A public hearing on the budget will be held on May 7 at 6 p.m. The public vote will be on May 21 from 2 to 8 p.m.