Tupper school budget meets 2.1% cap, has resource officers

TUPPER LAKE — The Tupper Lake Central School District board on April 23 adopted a $19,432,445 budget for 2019-20 that includes two resource officers — village police officers stationed at L.P. Quinn Elementary School and Tupper Lake Middle-High School.

The budget being presented to voters Tuesday, May 21 is right at the state tax cap, which lets the TLCSD increase the amount it levies onto taxpayers by 2.1% from the current school year. (Correction: An earlier version of this article listed the voting date incorrectly.)

Total spending would go up $713,224, 3.81% higher than the last budget. The tax levy is estimated to be $8,617,707 — meaning local taxpayers cover 44 percent of the district’s total spending. The tax rate will be adopted in August, after property assessments are finalized.

The school resource officers are probably the biggest change in the new budget, according to district business manager Dan Bower.

“It’s not a real exciting budget,” he said. “It’s kind of a status quo budget, I would say, except we’re looking forward to adding those resource officers because surveys of community members and faculty and staff indicated it’s something that is important to the community.”

The budget also includes debt service for the district’s latest capital project.

“The capital project probably had more effect on last year’s budget than this year’s budget,” Bower said.

Voters will also be asked to let the district borrow money to buy two new buses, as it does every year — and new this year, a Zamboni for the Tupper Lake Civic Center, which the school district owns. The spending needed to buy these things is already in this year’s budget, Bower said, but it still needs to ask voters to approve the financing.

Also on the May 14 ballot is a single opening on the school board. Incumbent Dave Dewyea is running for re-election.

A public hearing on the budget will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Michelle A. LaMere Library at L.P. Quinn Elementary School.