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No Comments Received On Frewsburg School Budget

Residents of the Frewsburg Central School District appear to have no complaints about the proposed 2021-22 district budget.

On Thursday, school officials hosted a public hearing on the proposed budget in which no district residents attended. Also, Shelly O’Boyle, Frewsburg superintendent, told The Post-Journal no written correspondence has yet to be been submitted to school officials regarding the proposed budget.

Last month, the Frewsburg Board of Education approved a proposed 2021-22 budget that includes a 1.71% tax levy increase. The proposed budget totals $18,985,983, which is $923,139, or 5.11%, increase over the approved 2020-21 district budget.

The proposed budget has a significant increase in state aid, going from $11,315,741 in this year’s budget to $12,401,696. Last month, O’Boyle said Frewsburg will be receiving an increase of more than $700,000 next year in foundation aid. She said Frewsburg has been owed additional foundation aid since 2008. She added that the district is included in a phased-in increase that will take place through the 2023-24 school year. Jerome Lee Yaw, Frewsburg business manager, said the district is at 84% of its foundation aid, but by the end of 2024, they will be at 100%.

During the annual budget vote held from 2-8 p.m. in the gym lobby Tuesday, May 18, district residents will also be voting on a few propositions. One proposition will be for a $7,000,000 capital improvement project, of which the district will only be funding $855,000 of the upgrades if approved by the voters.

The proposed project includes building upgrades at the middle school/high school that are anticipated to include pool area modernization, including pool deck and perimeter space finishes; Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility updates; HVAC equipment including for upgraded filtration, circulation and heat; LED pool lighting; a diving board stand; sound baffles installation; and various exterior improvements such as masonry work, window sills, panels and doors. Other building improvements are anticipated to include HVAC upgrades like cooling for a technology wiring closet.

Proposed building upgrades at Robert H. Jackson Elementary School are anticipated to include renovations of classrooms for kindergarten, first, second, and third grades that are similar to the renovations to the upper grades’ classrooms that are being undertaken as part of the district’s 2019 capital project. These renovations are anticipated to include cabinets, counters, wall finishes, flooring, single-occupancy restrooms, and related mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and hazardous material abatement work. Other improvements are anticipated to include HVAC upgrades such as rooftop air handling units; corridor wall finishes; fire alarm system updates; an ADA accessibility lift for the stage in the cafeteria; flooring in various common areas; and adjacent classrooms; and improvements to the secure entrance at the main office/lower level.

Other building work is anticipated to include items such as structural upgrades to the bus storage building. Proposed site work is anticipated to include pavement reconstruction of various parking areas and driveways at both district sites including repaving at the bus maintenance building at the middle school/high school campus; track restoration; and site utility work including possibly connecting a water line to a fire hydrant at the elementary school campus.

Additionally, a gas well that is not in use at the middle school/high school campus will be investigated to determine next steps, including possible closure of such well if such action is determined to be in the best interests of the district.

Another proposition district voters will be asked to cast a decision on includes the purchase of two new buses for a total cost of $266,000. If the proposition is approved, the district will receive 75% to 80% in state aid for the new buses.

Another proposition is to allow the district to create a capital reserve fund that will not exceed $5 million. The funds from this reserve fund will be used to cover the local share of future approved capital projects.

District voters will also be asked to fill two board of education positions. Three candidates are running for the two seats — incumbents Chad Chitester and Larry Lodestro and challenger Donald Dove.

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