FONDA - The Fonda-Fultonville Central School District will make up to $500,000 in spending cuts to build up its depleted fund balance, the interim superintendent said Monday.
An audit showed the district's undesignated fund balance was expended because of unexpected health insurance expenses and reductions in state building aid.
Interim Superintendent Patrick Michel said cuts are necessary.
Interim Superintendent Patrick Michel is shown at the meeting Monday.
The Leader-Herald/ Arthur Cleveland
"These cuts are going to hurt," Michel said.
He said a midyear budget committee and transportation committee will be set up.
The committees will determine the cuts to help build up the fund balance and avert cash-flow problems at the end of the year.
Without spending cuts, the district would face a $1.4 million budget gap for 2013-14, requiring the tax levy to go up about 20 percent.
The district may consider cutting health insurance and transportation costs, officials said.
In June, the district had a roughly $500,000 fund balance, but payments to teachers and unexpected insurance costs depleted the fund.
"It's an expensive month, with $2 million in payroll expenses for teachers' pay," said Carey Schultz, district treasurer.
"The district will focus on everything but academic programming to find savings," Michel said.
"Fonda-Fultonville is at its tipping point, and you're going to have to make some difficult decisions to survive," he said.
Michel, who also serves as the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services superintendent, said that while cuts are necessary, too many would affect the education of the students.
Michel said cost-cutting measures could include switching retirees to a Medicare Advantage Plan, similar to what Montgomery County government recently did recently.
The Fonda-Fultonville district is looking for community volunteers to serve on the committees.
Anyone interested may contact district clerk Lori Coons at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The school district had been searching for a new permanent superintendent, but the board has decided to postpone the search and instead look for another interim superintendent.
Officials said they have several candidates in mind for interim superintendent. Officials did not say when they will make a decision.
As BOCES superintendent, Michel is unable to devote all of his time to Fonda-Fultonville.
Arthur Cleveland can be reached at email@example.com.