So far, the Guilderland school district has spent about $1.6 million out of the roughly $7.8 million it has been allocated in federal funds to deal with the pandemic.

Although the Helderberg Lake Dam, in Berne, had cracks and other deficiencies over the decades that it had undergone inspections by the New York State Department of Conservation, it was not considered to be out of state compliance until 2016, because of a lack of an engineering assessment due two years prior, and again in 2018, following an engineering assessment.

The Berne Town Board appeared highly critical of the tax district proposal at its meeting last month, suggesting alternative solutions to fund the unsound Helderberg Lake Dam.

The Altamont Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing on next year’s budget on April 5, at 7 p.m., at Village Hall, with adoption likely taking place during the village’s annual reorganizational meeting, also on Tuesday. 

The Berne-Knox-Westerlo Board of Education accepted Superintendent Timothy Mundell’s proposed budget in a unanimous vote, along with the district’s annual bus proposition and the proposed purchase of 1772 Helderberg Trail. All three items — plus school board elections — will be subject to a district vote on May 17.

Superintendent Marie Wiles, in answering questions from the board and the public about her draft budget on March 15, said that the nearly 5-percent spending increase and the nearly 3-percent tax increase “are the highest they've been in my time here” as she stressed the importance of “balance” in not overburdening taxpayers.

“This is by no means … our budget,” Altamont Mayor Kerry Dineen said during a recent budget workshop. “This is a very preliminary draft.”

Currently, the Voorheesville Central School District is not projecting a budget deficit in 2022-23, unusual in a first-draft spending proposal. 

Marie Wiles, Ph.D., Superintendent Guilderland Central School District

The biggest factor in the revenue jump is the state’s commitment to make Foundation Aid to schools whole. “It looks like that three-year phase-in, at least from the governor’s perspective, is going to happen, so that’s tremendous news for our school district and school districts throughout the state,” Guilderland’s assistant superintendent for business, Neil Sanders, said on Tuesday.


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