budget

Programs at the Guilderland public library have "shattered" expectations, its director ways, and electronic usage has soared while circulation of books has increased modestly.

Voters will elect a trustee and decide on the library’s $1.16 million budget on May 19 from 2 to 9 p.m. at the Voorheesville Middle School foyer.

The budget is up three percent from last year, at $2.13 million, and includes increased health insurance costs of more than $30,000.

James Gaughan is the mayor of the village of Altamont.

Berne-Knox-Westerlo plans to use its added state aid to fix one-time problems next year like resurfacing the track or abating asbestos in the elementary-school basement.

Two years after a consultant recommended school closure to deal with declining enrollment and excess space, the district is on the verge of filling empty classrooms with a pre-kindergarten program.

Marie Wiles proposed a spending plan for next year for Guilderland schools that stays under the near-zero levy limit set by the state and does not cut any programs or staff.

"We’re going to have to be creative," said Sarah Blood, the new business manager for Berne-Knox-Westerlo, as the rural district with declining enrollment is faced with stagnant state aid and committed to no tax increase.

For the first time, Guilderland used a survey to gauge public opinion in drafting its budget; 370 surveys were completed.

“I’m happy to have other people face the difficult decisions we face,” said school board member Christopher McManus of the unpleasant choices that must be faced to close budget gaps.

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