Voters in the Wallkill Valley were in a generous mood last Tuesday, approving budgt proposals in all three local school districts.
Voters in the Pine Bush Central School District approved the $128,759,335 budget for the 2022-2023 school year .by a 644-273 margin.
Interim Superintendent Donna Geidel shared, “I am so grateful to the voters in our district. Your support of our students and the district is exceptional. Our teachers, staff and administrators would not be able to do what we do every day without your amazing support.”
The approved 22-23 budget will increase district spending by $2,867,738 or 2.28 percent. State aid was increased by almost $2.7 million and the district tapped into its fund balance by using nearly $3 million. In addition, a 1.5 percent tax levy increase of $896,928 is part of the budget.
“Our board of education members and central administration have worked diligently to provide a budget that maintains the excellent educational programs provided here in Pine Bush while always considering the financial burden on taxpayers. We believe we did that with this budget and are glad our voters agree,” said Geidel.
This year, four candidates were vying for four seats on the board of education. Incumbents Gretchen Meier and Dori Johnson, along with newcomer Erik Buckley will hold full three-year terms and incumbent Matthew Watkins will fill the two-year unexpired term. Geidel offered her congratulations to the candidates and thanked them for stepping up to serve the community.
“Congratulations to Gretchen, Dori and Matt, who have all stepped up to continue to serve our school community.
Congratulations and welcome to Erik Buckley, our newest board member. We know all of you will do your very best for our students,” expressed Geidel.
Valley Central School District voters had their voices heard, by approving the 2022-2023 Budget of $116,600,000.
District officials were pleased that the budget passed with School Business Official Brad Conklin explaining, “The tax levy cap for Valley Central was 4.4%.
However, the Board of Education felt that imposing that tax levy would be difficult for some residents so the BOE adopted a budget with a 1.76% levy increase, which was approved by voters. This balances the needs of the community with the goal of providing long-term financial stability to the district, especially at a time of rising costs.”
The approval of the budget cemented a Capital Outlay Project designed to address facility needs including a new stadium scoreboard at the high school and an entrance vestibule for the Central Administration building which is in disrepair.
“We are grateful to the Valley Central community for their continued support of the district. It has been a long road getting back to normal so we appreciate the support shown by the voters,” shared Superintendent John Xanthis.
The Board of Education will be undergoing some changes as well with three open Board of Education seats for three-year terms commencing July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2025.
Incumbents Sarah Messing and Diana Revoir both won re-election and Jane Samuelson will join the BOE for her first term. Art Fitzgerald did not seek reelection this year, but district officials thanked him for his service.
“I would like to recognize Art Fitzgerald’s three years of service on the BOE, especially at a difficult time in history with the pandemic. Sarah Messing and Diana Revoir are also to be recognized for their years of service and I am glad they have chosen to continue to serve the District on the BOE. Art is certainly appreciated for his contribution to the BOE and we look forward to working with Jane Samuelson as she joins the Board,” said Valley Central School Board President Joseph Bond.
The Wallkill School District’s $81.71 million budget and a $43.8 million capital project were easily approved by district voters Tuesday.
The budget for 2022-23 was passed by a 658-214 margin. It represented a 2.99 percent increase of $2.37 million.
The $43.8 million capital project also was approved by 660-206. The capital project uses $10.56 million from a reserve fund with the $33.24 million balance raised through an increase in the property tax levy.
Wallkill Superintendent Kevin Castle was pleased with the outcome.
“We really appreciate the support of the community,” Castle said. “We’re very excited for our learning community that both of these passed.”
Three seats carrying three-year terms on the Board of Education were also up for grabs.
Incumbents Dustin Palen (567) and Joseph LoCicero (537) were re-elected along with newcomer Ursula Petricek (520). Kathryn Bayer (364) and Clarence “Butch” VanLeuvan (302) were unsuccessful in their bids.
Kerry Butrick Dowing and Rick Remsnyder contributed to this story.