Budget Vote Takes Place Tuesday, May 17th

The proposed budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year balances excellent educational programs for Ogdensburg students with a 0% property tax levy increase for taxpayers.
 
The $53,537,655 proposed spending plan represents a $4,149,655, or 8.40% increase, over the current year budget. A majority of the increase is a result of a $2.85 million capital outlay project, of which 98% of costs will be reimbursed by the state in the 2023-24 school year. The additional increase in expenditures are attributed to
contractual increases in salary and benefits as well as other program costs, which represent a $1.5 million increase.
 
This past winter, the District’s budget team began the task of developing the 2022-23 budget. As in previous years, the administrative team looked at every line in the budget and analyzed each department. The actual increase to the expense side of the proposed spending plan from the 2021-22 budget, excluding the capital outlay project, is $1,399,655, or 2.83%. The district is proposing a 0% increase to the tax levy this year.
 
The proposed spending plan includes an appropriation of $4,245,531 in fund balance to balance the 2022-23 budget. Without knowing the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the district may be required to spend additional fund balance in 2022-23.
 
The district will continue to focus on small-scale capital projects called “Capital Outlay Projects.” The proposed
2022-23 Capital Outlay Project will allow the district to complete $2.85 million in improvements to district facilities, of which 98% of the costs are reimbursed by the state. This project will have an estimated net cost of $57,000.
 
If approved by voters, the proposed Capital Outlay Project will address our aging infrastructure and correct building deficiencies identified in our Building Condition Survey and Five Year Capital Facilities Plan, as well as enhance health and safety at John F. Kennedy Elementary School. Work will involve improvements to the
intermediate level drop-off area in an effort to improve traffic congestion on Jersey Avenue, relocation of the front playground away from Park Street, and miscellaneous upgrades to the building's mechanical systems.
 
I am confident that the 2022-23 school budget is a responsible budget that takes into account the fiscal challenges facing the district while maintaining a quality educational program for the children of Ogdensburg. Among the key initiatives within this budget are:
  • Access to engaging course work and multiple pathways: Implementation of additional course electives in the areas of physical education, technology, ELA, mathematics, social studies, and family and consumer science, and implementation of science labs for students in grade 8, as well as writing labs in secondary AP classes.
  • Social-emotional, mental health and behavior health: Increased capacity for social emotional learning and prevention for all students, and improved intervention and family support for students in need through the addition of social workers and counselors.
In addition to presenting information with regard to the proposed 2022-23 school budget, this edition of the Bridges Newsletter highlights the Ogdensburg City School District’s Class of 2022 Valedictorian, Miss Megan Reed and Salutatorian, Miss Katherine Smith.
 
I continue to be extremely proud of the resiliency of our students, staff and parents throughout this pandemic. We will continue to work together to  provide our students with access to a high quality, well-rounded education.
 
As a reminder, on May 17, 2022, school district voters will cast a ballot for two (2) members of  the Ogdensburg City School District Board of Education, as well as voting on three (3) additional  Propositions: the 2022-23 budget; the creation of a capital reserve account to assist the district  in future building projects; and, the use of the $3 million capital reserve for a capital outlay  project at John F. Kennedy Elementary School.