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Briarcliff Schools Budget Season Under Way

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – With spring around the corner, many Briarcliff Manor residents are looking forward to green grass and green leaves on trees once again. But the Briarcliff Manor Board of Education is focusing on a different kind of green.

While the first official budget presentation is set for March 19, Superintendent of Schools Neal Miller presented an initial budget outlook to the board Monday night during a board of education work session. Board President Guy Rotondo confirmed Tuesday that the initial projection is slated to be about $47.5 million for the 2012-13 school year. Rotondo said he was very pleased the number was “significantly lower” than the 2009-10 budget of around $53 million.

“For me it’s very exciting that we can even consider doing (capital projects) now,” Rotondo said Tuesday. “Three years ago, when I first joined the board, we had pretty dramatic budget problems. There was no way at that time we could’ve remotely entertained projects that we’re looking at now.”

Rotondo said it was a “monumental step” that the board is able to consider capital projects attached to the Ad Hoc Facilities Committee plan, presented Feb. 27 . The plan included seeking roughly $10 million in a school bond referendum for dozens of various capital projects needs.

“To get to a point where we can even consider important investments like we are now is something very important,” Rotondo said. “We’re down $6 million in our budget from when I started. I think this is sort of a milestone in terms of returning the district to a more fiscally sustainable level of spending."

The Ad Hoc Facilities Committee is scheduled to offer more answers to questions from the public and the board during the board’s work session on March 19.

Miller agreed, adding that Monday night’s tax cap projection of roughly 3.59 percent should also be a help to the district.

“It’s the first year of the cap and a lot of the process behind it is changing daily,” Miller said. “So it’s good that we’re seeing a bit of room there. That’s not to say we’ll go that far, but it’s good to know what it is at this point.”

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