June 28, 2006

School Budget Passes

The second time's the charm.

On June 20, the Riverhead School Budget passed by a margin of 621 votes.

Nearly 3263 residents ventured to the polls to vote for or against a 6.28 percent increase in school district spending, which sets the 2006-2007 budget at $93,152,740.

A first attempt at a budget approval failed on May 16 by 91 votes. Some 1667 voters cast ballots against the budget, while 1576 voted in favor of it.

District officials went right to work, shaving nearly $200,000 off the proposed spending plan.

Items cut include bus driver positions, buildings and grounds salaries, and a reduction in interest payments from borrowed monies.

Aside from cutting from the budget, the district was able to add money to the budget. For example, $700,000 in additional funds became available from uncalculated STAR payments.

If the budget had not passed, the district would have been forced on austerity and nearly $2 million would have been cut from the budget. The first items to go: sports programs, co-curricular activities, equipment, and student supplies.

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