CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Adams-Cheshire School Committee is taking a closer look at budget items before choosing what it will to ask voters to approve.
On Wednesday, committee members went into detail with a proposed budget that calls for a reduction of eight employees. The committee looked at the transportation, capital and operational services portions of the budget.
The layoffs are likely to cause an increase of $55,000 in the unemployment budget line but about $27,500 will be reduced in property liability (because of the reduction of the Adams Memorial Middle School) and workers compensation. Additionally, school choice and charter school payments will likely save the district about $17,400 because of Gov. Deval Patrick's proposed state budget.
Overall, general administration will increase by a total of $8,266, which is a .5 percent increase from last year.
Fringe benefits, which include health insurance, Medicare taxes, health insurance and retirement is expected to decrease by about $12,082.
On the transportation side, the district will continue the contract with DuFour Co. for 12 regular day buses, four special transportation buses, and two buses for Berkshire Arts and Technology students. Overall the cost is going up by $16,410, which is a 2.1 percent increase.
In total, the school will be paying about $811,000 to transport students to Hoosac, C.T. Plunkett, Cheshire Elementary School, BART and St. Stan's for the regular school day. After school sports bussing is not included with this total because it is budgeted in the athletics department.
According to Superintendent Kristen Gordon, the school receives no reimbursement for transporting students to St. Stan's or BART. The four special transportation buses also receive no state reimbursement.
"And our regular reimbursement, which we were told would be 100 percent, is at 56 percent," Gordon added.
The capital budget calls for a 70.4 percent increase but the large majority of that is for the building project, which voters approved funding outside of the Proposition 2 1/2 levy limit. With those bills removed, the town of Adams will be paying $17,912 more than last year because of a $45,000 project to replace carpeting at C.T. Plunkett Elementary School. Cheshire will see a decrease of 6.3 percent excluding the building costs.
The budget has three versions, each with more extensive cuts and the committee is expected to choose one of those next week. The presentations are focused on the "C" version, which is the only one that does not call for an override vote from the towns.
The committee has the option to reinstate funding for items on the chopping block and ask the voters for an override.
Adams Cheshire Regional School District Budget - Operational and Transportation 2014