SCCSD Board Notes Feb. 6 Business Meeting

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The South Country Board of Education met for its first business meeting of the month on Feb. 6 with much discussion about the impending 2019-2020 district budget.

During the superintendent’s report, Dr. Joseph Giani announced that he and Board President Cheryl A. Felice attended the 15th annual Legislative Breakfast held at Longwood High School on Feb. 2. He also announced that the district will participate in the Children’s Writing and Illustration Competition and Crayon Collection Drive, sponsored by the CEED Center for Environmental Education & Discovery and in conjunction with the second annual Bellport and Brookhaven Children’s Book Festival. Dr. Giani also congratulated the 15 student wrestlers from the high school varsity wrestling team who qualified to compete in the Suffolk County Section II Tournament, being held at Suffolk County Community College on Feb. 9-10.  

Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Management Services Dr. Sammy Gergis gave an overview of the tax levy limit and revenue during the district’s second budget presentation. He noted that in the first governor’s budget run, the district stands to receive $56.7 million in aid, which is approximately $419,000 less than last year. Dr. Gergis also calculated through an eight-step process the projected tax levy for the 2019-20 school year, totaling $62,240,685, which is a 3.36 percent increase and $2,022,996 more than last year. At this time, the projected 2019-20 spending plan totals $129,171,139. He also noted that these numbers will change throughout the budget process. The Board and Dr. Giani also discussed the budget brochure in terms of its compliance with the Voting Rights Act. 

The Board also passed a Capital Reserve Resolution to expend no more than $2.3 million from the existing 2016 Capital Reserve Fund to replace the exterior vestibule and all windows at Kreamer Street Elementary School. The resolution, which will not affect the taxpayer, must be approved by voters and will be placed on the ballot during the 2019-20 district election to be held on May 21.  

The Board will meet on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m. when Dr. Gergis will give a budget presentation on general support, operations and maintenance, security, utilities, transportation, employee benefits, debt service, fund transfers and capital expenditures.