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District Holds Final Meeting Before Vote

The Farmingdale School Board held its final public hearing last Tuesday, a week before the scheduled budget vote. The 2013-14 proposed budget was outlined by the schools’ business administrator, Paul Defendini.


“The 2013-14 proposed budget is $153,384,118, with a tax levy increase of 2.35 percent,” said Defendini. “This represents a dollar increase of $2,816,958 compared to the 2012-13 budget, which was a total of $150,567,160.”


Defendini added that employees’ salaries and benefits make up a huge portion of budget-related expenses, with $80,373,255 going toward teacher salaries and $38,672,814 going toward benefits. 


Proposition #2, which institutes a capital levy plan, was also a main focal point at the hearing. It is of no cost to taxpayers and helped to fund the window project in all of the district’s schools.


“We appropriated $925,000 from the capital reserve to complete window projects at Northside and Woodward Park Elementary schools,” said Defendini. “The estimated budget includes the construction and soft costs, with $500,980 going to Northside and $424,020 going to Woodward Parkway.”


Defendini noted that the budget for the project is less than other district window replacement projects, and that it will only be a minor replacement job because sections of the two schools already had their windows replaced.


“It will only be a partial window replacement, and a similar design will be used to match existing window conditions.”


The district’s energy performance contract, which is also of no cost to the taxpayer, was reviewed, with key points outlined by Defendini.

He stated that the contract was a culmination of more than a year of work with the district’s Facilities Advisory Committee and board of education, and that construction costs have been fully paid out of the energy savings as a result of energy conservation measures. The contract significantly reduces the district’s carbon footprint while improving the academic environment.


The next public Farmingdale Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 29, at 7 p.m. in the Farmingdale High School auditorium, at 150 Lincoln Street in Farmingdale. This is scheduled to be a special public meeting and recognition of some of the district’s staff and students. The next regular board meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 5. 


Editor’s note: This article was printed before the district’s budget election on May 21. Details about the election results will be printed in the Friday, May 31 edition of the Farmingdale Observer.