budget

GUILDERLAND — The school board at its February meeting adopted a tax break for veterans, heard about progress on a $17 million building project, and gave budget preferences as a prelude to the superintendent’s presentation of her 2014-15 proposal tonight.

The school board has not yet convened a committee that traditionally combs through the spending plan starting in November. In recent meetings, the board and superintendent have discussed a modified timeline for the budget.

Peter Shunney, Berne-Knox-Westerlo's building and maintenance supervisor for more than 11 years, is concerned he won't be able to keep his role in his department.

Faced with reduced resources and a government reform agenda, Superintendent Marie Wiles wants school leaders, rather than outside pressures, to define Guilderland's future.

The year started with a financial audit that gave a poor picture of the town's records, but its summer was spent with a cordial picnic and stream-bank repair that brought volunteers together.

Administrators want to increase time for teachers to analyze data from their classrooms and create alternative education classrooms during the day and evenings.

Guilderland School Board members' backgrounds informed the recommendations they made for closing a $2.7 million budget gap for next year.

Supervisor Valerie Lounsbury said the town's preliminary 2014 spending plan is $703 under the state-set tax cap of 1.66 percent on increases to the levy.

At the Nov. 6 town board meeting, Knox authorized an agreement for 4G Long Term Evolution wireless communication service on its nearby tower used by Verizon and AT&T.

The town's attorney noted Town Law says the preliminary spending plan becomes the effective budget if the deadline to adopt a final version isn't met.

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