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Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, May 17 to vote on proposed school budgets in Honeoye Falls-Lima and Wheatland-Chili.

HF-L voters will be making a decision on a budget proposal of $57,224,420 for 2022-2023 which is an increase from the 2021-2022 budget of $55,489,110. The proposal is a 3.13 percent increase and would increase property taxes to the levy limit of 1.98 percent as determined by tax cap legislation.

For a home assessed at $200,000 with a Basic STAR exemption, the tax rate would rise from $23.24 per thousand in 2021-2022 to $23.69 per thousand under the proposed 2022-2023 or from $4,647 to $4,739. On the revenue side of the proposal, 55.1 percent of the proposal would be funded by property taxes with another 36.6 percent from state aid. It also envisions using $1.1 million in restricted reserves, the same amount that the district has used to fund school budgets in the past four years, and $840,000 from appropriated fund balance.

HF-L’s Program Budget Advisory Council (made up of district leadership and community residents), which provides recommendations for the operating budget, reviewed operational proposals from the four school buildings and departments such as Transportation, Facilities, Central Office, Athletics and Special Education. The committee prioritized budget requests for new or expanded initiatives for the upcoming school year. Priorities that made the cut into the proposal include maintaining contracts with Sedara for cyber security consulting, network monitoring and contracting of chief security officer services, expansion of the High School Learning Academy with the addition of one teacher, completes the third phase of Elementary Science Experimental Kit upgrade with new Earth Science experiments at the Manor School, adds six full-time building-based substitute teachers across the district to fill in for absent teachers and to provide coverage for special teacher team professional learning, changes the current high school TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) position to a second High School Assistant Principal position, adds a Teaching Assistant Position at the Middle School, adds a 0.5 FTE Interventionist at Lima Primary, maintains eight sections of sixth-grade at the Middle School, adds one school aide at Lima Primary and adds a TOSA position to support collaboration at the Manor School.

Voters will also make a decision on a proposed school bus purchase of up to six buses for a sum not to exceed $730,000. A third proposition on the ballot will be the establishment of a Building Capital Reserve Fund for the purpose of financing construction and reconstruction of the schools and other buildings of the District with the ultimate amount of such a fund to be $9,900,000 with the probable term of the fund to be 10 years.

Also on the ballot will be electing three school board members with five candidates running for those spots. Incumbents David Francis and Stephanie Templeton are re-running with three newcomers on the ballot in Marianne Hughes, Jessica Kelly and Joel Robinson. Incumbent Gary Stottler is not re-running.

In Wheatland-Chili, the proposed budget is $20,836,533 which is a decrease from the 2021-2022 budget of $20,909,493 (or $72,960 or 0.35 percent). The property tax cap limit is calculated at 2.42 percent and the budget proposal is at the 2.42 percent. For homeowners with a home at $100,000 assessed value and a Basic STAR exemption, the increase on their tax bill would be an additional $20.30 and for a homeowner without Basic STAR exemption, the increase would be $29. The proposal includes $100,000 mini-renovation project that would include flooring upgrades at the Middle/High School and by including it in the scope of the proposed annual budget, the district will receive approximately $74,900 in additional aid during the 2022-23 school year.

A second proposition on the ballot is school transportation purchases of up to $227,000 for the purpose of replacing two buses (a 65-passenger bus and a 10-passenger van) and a commercial wide area mower. A third proposition would allow the district to purchase classroom furnishings for up to $100,000. A fourth proposition is a Capital Improvement Project not to exceed $5,800,000.

There are three candidates running for two seats on the Board of Education. They are Gregory Berl and Cindy Dawson, both incumbents, and Keith Nicolosi.

©2022 Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel

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