LATHAM — Voters in the North Colonie School District overwhelmingly passed the 2022-23, $134.9 million budget that increases spending by nearly 8 percent, or nearly $10 million, but only increases taxes by a .5 percent.
The overall tax levy will increase by about 1.44 percent, but thanks to a growing tax base in north Colonie, the tax rate increase for the owner a home worth $150,000 is about $21 more per year, $28 more for a home assessed at $200,000 and $42 for a home assessed at $300,000.
The budget passed with more than 75 percent of the vote, 2,038 to 676.
“We are pleased that the taxpayers of North Colonie voted to support the 2022-23 budget,” said Superintendent D. Joseph Corr. “I believe this is a strong budget that supports the district’s mission of providing a high-quality education for all students. I’d like to thank the community for their ongoing support of our children and our families.”
Like districts across the state, North Colonie had an influx of money from the massive COVID relief bills passed by Congress and an increase in state aid.
Included in the recently passed budget are salaries for the equivalent of 20.4 fill time staffers for a total cost of just less than $2 million. Five of the new teachers will be on special assignment and paid with federal stimulus money. Those positions will be evaluated over the next two years and may or may not be deemed necessary after the grant money runs out.
Next year, the district will get another allocation of the total $9.3 million made available in three different federal grants. But, after the 2023-24 year, all will expire and there is not any indication of it continuing.
“We used the federal money for a variety of things associated with COVID like HVAC work and paying for PPE [Personal Protective Equipment.] We did use it for the hard goods, if you will,” Corr said prior to the budget passing. “We have to look at the fact that when the funds run out we may not have money to afford some of these positions and we don’t want to fall off the fiscal cliff. We have a plan in place for when the funds do run out and that is why we have temporary special assignment positions and other things in place so we can plan accordingly.”
Mary Alber won a three-way race to fill the five-year seat vacated by the retiring Paula D’Orazio, Mary Adler with 1,229 votes. Donna Watson received 805 votes and Marcy Thompson received 624.
Alber in her second year as president of the North Colonie Parent Teacher Association Council and is president of the Shaker High School PTA. Previously, she was the president of the Special Education PTA. The information technology specialist at the Teacher’s Retirement System, has been a representative on the Board of Education Budget Committee for the past two years.