SALAMANCA — A potential $5.1 million increase to the current Salamanca City Central School District budget could be on the ballot in May, Board of Education members learned at its March 16 meeting.

The Salamanca school board reviewed an overview of the full 2021-22 budget in progress on March 16 in a presentation from Karen Magara, the assistant superintendent for finance and operation.

While there is still work to be done on finalizing the budget between now and the May 18 vote, the overall budget for next school year stands at $48.6 million including $5 million for the ongoing capital project.

The budget’s expenditures are expected to be about $43.5 million for next year, up $1.6 million from the current year, Magara said. However, next year’s interfund transfers of $5 million for the capital project plus $75,000 for special education summer school programs is up from $1.6 million from this year.

While the largest increases of the budget include personnel, equipment and capital outlay, BOCES services and benefits, Magara said there are decreases in contractual, materials and supplies, tuition and textbooks and debt services.

The district’s benefits could increase about $600,000 over the current year to $8.46 million, Magara said, with about 4% of that increase coming from health insurance related lines alone.

“There are additional employees slated for next year so that pushes prices up as well, and pretty much everything has gone up anyway,” she explained. “The price of hiring an employee is about 18 cents on the dollar plus health insurance.

The district’s debt service is also expected to drop significantly from $4.2 million this year to $2.9 million next year because a large amount has been paid off while no new debt has been added, Magara said

For the district’s BOCES budget, an increase of about $138,000 to just over $6 million is expected for next year. Magara said the increases come from the district adding services that can be reimbursed through BOCES rather than buying directly.

Some of the largest increases for BOCES include health insurance, in-service training, occupational education, driver’s education, health and contracted transportation, she said.

Magara said the administration will continue to work on adjusting and finalizing the budget and she will present again at the district’s April meeting.

(Contact managing editor Kellen Quigley at kquigleysp@gmail.com)

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