Voting will be conducted by absentee ballot only. Completed ballots must be returned to the district no later than 5 p.m. on June 9.
The Fort Plain Central School District Board of Education adopted a proposed $21,375,000 million budget for the 2020-21 school year at its May 20 meeting.
The budget vote and board of education candidate election will be conducted by absentee ballot only because of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Ballots are being mailed to qualified voters. Completed ballots must be returned to the district no later than 5 p.m. on June 9.
The proposed school budget continues all academic programming at current levels while staying under the property tax levy cap.
The plan calls for a 2.03% spending increase and proposes a 1.81% tax levy increase. The calculated “tax levy cap” for FPCS is 3.4%.
“With the COVID-19 crisis at the forefront of our decision making, our goal was to develop a responsible budget that upholds the integrity of our academic programs and student support systems, while recognizing the fiscal responsibility to our taxpayers,” Superintendent John Bishop said.
Programs continued through the extended building closure as the district provided rigorous distance learning with teacher support and technology devices. Nearly 500 meals were delivered to students daily.
Because the proposed tax levy increase is under the cap, the proposed budget will require a simple majority vote for approval. The tax cap law only applies to the tax levy (the amount of taxes collected by the district), not to tax rates or individual tax bills.
Public hearing will be livestreamed
The district will hold a public hearing on the 2020-21 proposed budget from 7-8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27. The hearing will be conducted by videoconference and live-streamed. Community members may join by going to https://meet.google.com/fdz-hcrs-grz or by calling 470-210-1268 and entering PIN 371 125 077#.
Questions about the budget may be submitted through the videconference’s commenting feature. They will be read aloud by the district clerk and answered during the livestream.
About voting by absentee ballot
Qualified voters will be automatically mailed an absentee ballot. Check our poll list to ensure you will be mailed a ballot. If your name is not on the list, or if your listing contains an error, please contact the District Clerk Becky Smith by email at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to ensure timely receipt of an absentee ballot for the 2020 election.
Qualified voters are defined as U.S. citizens who are 18 years or older and have lived in the district for at least 30 days prior to the vote.
All absentee ballots must be mailed and received by the district no later than 5 p.m. on June 9.
More information about voting by absentee ballot is available at https://www.fortplain.org/poll-list-and-voting-information/.
School bus proposition
Voters will consider a school bus referendum to purchase buses at a cost not to exceed $338,000 total. The referendum will not have an impact on the tax levy. It will allow the district to replace aging buses and minimize maintenance costs.
Residents will elect three board members
Voters will elect three members of the Board of Education to three year terms from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023. The candidates are incumbents Jeffrey Jones, Todd McFee and David Przestrzelski.