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Rocky Point Budget Hopes to Stay Under 2 Percent

Final budget numbers dependent on state aid, which has yet to be finalized.

After Rocky Point residents voted to pierce the 2 percent tax levy cap in last year's school budget vote, a budget presentation on Monday reported that no such request will likely be made of taxpayers this year.

Though coming in under the 2 percent mark will ultimately remain to be seen until state officials hand down school aid numbers in the coming months. The deadline for passage of a state budget is April 1, a deadline state officials have hit in the past two years after several years of missing.

In a 27-page Powerpoint presentation (attached as a PDF), School Business Official Greg Hilton and Susan Wilson, executive director for educational services, laid out next school year's spending plan.

While no layoffs are mentioned, the report notes that "realignment based on specific needs may result in some positions being eliminated and others added."

According to the presentation, the district received $22.5 million in aid during the 2012-2013 school year, or $300,000 more than the previous year and a whole $2 million less than Rocky Point School District received during the 2008-2009 school year.

All the while, employee pension and health care costs have continued to rise. Benefit costs – which include both of those categories – are expected to increase $1.58 million, or 11 percent.

Cost saving measures noted in the report include paying down less on the district's long-term debt service, a trend that should continue in coming years, according to a report on the Times Beacon Record. Savings will also be realized – about $50,000 – based on energy initiatives the district has taken, as well as reductions in expenses in the internal and external auditing of the distrcit, among other cost saving initiatives.

The next budget workshop is scheduled for Feb. 13, at 6 p.m., at Frank J. Carasiti Elementary School room 135.

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