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Queensbury Union Free School District Board of Education adopted a budget for the 2019-20 school year Monday night. The budget raises the tax levy 2.96% which is even with the tax cap. 

QUEENSBURY — Queensbury Union Free School District officials adopted a budget of $65.394 million for the 2019-20 school year Monday night.

Notable expenditures include two infrastructure projects to repair the Queensbury Elementary School roof and improvements to the districts security systems.

Superintendent Doug Huntley said in a release the Board of Education spent a great deal of time trying to balance academic programs with fiscal prudence.

“They reviewed all aspects of the proposed budget in workshop settings and Board meetings, resulting in a budget that supports a high-quality education for the students at Queensbury while staying within the tax cap,” Huntley said.

The tax levy will increase just over $1 million or 2.96% this year, which is at the cap and makes up about 54% of the entire budget. School officials said this will increase school taxes by $98 on a property with an average full-value assessment of $210,000.

The security hardware upgrades around the district including new and replacement video cameras, keycard access on doors and public announcement systems updates which will run around $600,000. The repairs to the elementary school roof have been budgeted at $100,000.

The district is still in the midst of a multi-year capital project and will continue receiving building aid for facilities work. Assistant Superintendent for Business Scott Whittemore said students and faculty will be able to use the new spaces from the capital project in the fall, with an official and full completion slated for the end of the 2019-20 school year.

The district saved $1.3 million on benefits this year thanks to negotiations on healthcare and a drop in the pension rate, according to Whittemore. He said many schools in the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES are a part of a collective that is able to leverage their buying power for lower rates and was able to negotiate considerable savings on healthcare premiums.

A proposition will also be on the ballot on May 21 to approve $466,247 to purchase four 72-passenger buses to replace four buses aging out of the district’s 10-year replacement cycle. Since the district is borrowing money to replace the buses, it must be approved with a simple majority as a separate proposition.

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Samuel Northrop is the education reporter for The Post-Star. He can be reached at snorthrop@poststar.com.

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