Potsdam Central voters approve $33 million budget that includes armed in-school officer funding; Fiske, Hubbard, Pickering earn board seats
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 9:18 am

POTSDAM — Potsdam Central School District voters approved the 2018-19 and chose Joshua Fiske, James Hubbard and Diane Pickering as school board members.

Potsdam’s $33,409,410 budget passed with 391 votes in favor and 75 opposed.

Joshua Fiske received 291 votes, James Hubbard 257 and Diane Pickering 243.

Not receiving enough votes for seats on the board were incumbent J. Patrick Turbett and David A. DeRushia Jr. who earned 232 and 194 votes respectively.

The only additions to the new budget is increasing a .8 high school language (non-English( teacher to full-time status.

The teacher is also certified in art which will allow the district to offer elective courses at the high school.

The budget also includes $30,000 toward an in-school armed officer.

The budget was an increase of 2.98 percent or $967,990 over last year. The amount to be raised in taxes is $13,242,282. The tax levy increase was 3.22 percent or $413,302, which is at the tax cap level.

The school is using $2,570,790 in fund balance/reserves to minimize impact on local taxpayers.

Program costs account for $24,584,290, or 73.58 percent of the budget. This includes salaries to teachers, staff, textbooks, instructional materials, equipment, extracurricular activities and costs of transportation except bus purchases.

Capital costs are 18.59 percent of the budget, or $6,209,361. This includes salaries and benefits of maintenance and custodial staid, debt service, bus purchases, utilities, general insurance, tax certiorari, and other court-ordered costs.

Administrative costs for PCS are 7.83 percent or $2,615,759 of the budget. This includes salaries and benefits of all certified staff who spend more than 50 percent of their time in administration, plus the salaries and benefits of clerical staff. Also, this includes funding for board costs, and curriculum development.

A bus proposition to purchase new buses passed 412-55. The district plans to purchase three buses to replace older ones. PCS also wants to buy a van to transport smaller groups, or even a single student in some cases.