Page 10 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • March 25, 2009 Franklin Lakes K-8 school board approves proposed budget for 2009-10 by Frank J. McMahon The Franklin Lakes Board of Education has approved a $27,886,988 total budget including debt service for the 2009-10 school year with a 2009 calendar year tax levy of $21,844,912 plus a debt service of $2,178,485. The total budget represents an increase of $915,940, or 3.40 percent, over the school district’s total budget for the 2008-09 school year. The current budget was reduced after borough voters defeated the spending plan at the polls. The calendar year tax levy that will be voted on by the voters of the school district this year has increased by $830,085 over last year’s tax levy, as adjusted for that year’s budget defeat, for an increase of 3.95 percent over the 2008 tax levy. The state imposed cap on the school district’s tax levy is four percent. If the budget is approved by voters in the April election, the increase in the tax levy would result in a .0057 cent increase in the local school tax rate. A homeowner with a house assessed at the current $1,278,690 average in the borough would pay an additional $73 annually. Carmen Monte, president of the K-8 school district, explained the process the board went through to establish this budget, which is below the four percent cap increase permitted by the state. “Each year, when creating the budget, the board of education faces the challenge of maintaining its quality instructional programs in the most cost effective manner possible. Now, more than ever, the board of education recognizes the difficulties that many of our residents are facing in these uncertain economic times. As a result, we have taken every step to approach the budget process in a prudent and fiscally responsible manner while maintaining high academic standards. “We have reviewed every expenditure line of the budget,” Monte continued, “with the goal of cutting any unnecessary expenses. In addition, throughout the year, we have remained sensitive to the needs of taxpayers and have instituted many changes in the way we do business in an ongoing effort to cut costs.” Monte emphasized that this budget represents a notable accomplishment because it minimizes the financial impact of increasing state mandates even though the state is providing no additional funding to help offset those additional costs. She highlighted some of the ways the district has tried to save money for the residents of the borough saying the board is decreasing, where possible, staffing levels and thereby saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, while the state would have allowed an additional increase in taxes to cover the soaring costs of health benefits, the board cut the budget in other places and chose not to increase taxes, thereby saving the taxpayers an additional $220,000. “We reduced bus routes at each elementary school and increased subscription bus fees by 10 percent,” Monte explained adding, “We instituted an energy conservation awareness campaign resulting in a 20 percent reduction in usage of gas and electricity throughout the school district.” The district also leased space at the Franklin Avenue Middle School to the Bergen County Special Services to create a middle school autistic program, generating additional income of $80,000, and it developed a tuition paid preschool program to help offset state mandated program costs. Monte also explained that the district has entered into shared services agreements in order to leverage resources and reduce coats. For instance, Monte said the district purchased natural gas and electricity through the New Jersey Alliance for Competitive Energy Services and it also purchased supplies such as paper through a 70-school consortium for a total district savings of $77,456. In addition, the district continues its reciprocal snow removal program with the borough and purchases gasoline from the borough to save sales tax. “We partnered with the borough in the waste management bid to achieve significant savings,” Monte pointed out, “and we participate in an equipment sharing program with the FLOW (Franklin Lakes, (continued on page 21) �������������������������������������� ������������� ������������� � ��������������������������������������������������������������������������� ����� ����� ���� ������ ��� ������������ ����� ������ ��� ��������� ��� ��� ����� ���������� ���� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������� ��� �������� �������� ��� ������� ����� ��� ���������� ���� � � ���� �������� ����������� ����� ��� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� � ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������ ������������������������������������������������������ ������������������������������������� ������������������������������������ ���� All sponsorship is 100% tax deductible. Every participant will receive an AD Book. Thank you in advance for your support and participation. Midland Park Fire Department 100th Anniversary Book Business Name: ______________________________________________________ Contact: ____________________________________________________________ Phone: Address: ___________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip: ________________________________________________________ Full Page - $500.00 Half Page - $250.00 Quarter Page - $125.00 Business Cards - $50.00 ATTACH GRAPHIC PRESENTATION Personal Comments: __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ � ����� ����� �� ����� ����� ���������������� �������������� ���� ��������� �������� ��� ������ � � ���� ����� � ����������������� ��������������� ������������� �������� ���� ���� ������������������ �������������������� ������������������� �������������� ������������������ �������������������� ������������ ������������������������ ������������ �������������� ���������������� ������������������ �������������������� ������������ ������������������������ ������������ ���� ������������ ������������������������ ������������ ���������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������� Please make Check out to: MPFD Midland Park Fire Department • P Box 51 • Midland Park, NJ 07432 .O.