GJSD Hosts Public Budget Hearing at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3 in Knox Auditorium

The Greater Johnstown School District will host a public budget hearing at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3 in the auditorium at the Knox Building (400 S. Perry Street, Johnstown, NY 12095). The general public is invited to hear a presentation on the proposed budget for the 2022-23 school year from Superintendent of Schools, Dr. William Crankshaw and Assistant Superintendent, Ms. Alicia D. Koster, ahead of the budget vote, which will take place on Tuesday, May 17. Voting will take place at the Johnstown Junior-Senior High School (1 Sir Bills Cir, Johnstown, NY 12095) and polls will be open from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

“The District wants our community to learn and be knowledgeable about the budget process,” Dr. Crankshaw said. “The District’s Audit, Budget and Finance Committee works closely with the administration all year to cultivate a budget that we believe supports important District goals of overall student success, while also being responsible to our citizens. Tuesday’s budget hearing will inform the public on the final budget in its entirety and give the GJSD Board of Education an opportunity to hear questions and comments about the 2022-2023 spending plan.”

Board of Education Member Election

The three-year terms of Board of Education  members Joseph LoDestro and Patrick Oare will end on June 30, 2022. Another seat formerly held by Christopher Tallon will also expire this year, but will not be renewed as part of the District’s plan to reduce the overall size of the board from nine members to seven — an initiative that was approved by voters in 2021. No nominating candidate petitions were returned to the District Clerk’s office by this past week’s deadline, which means that voters will elect two new board members to fill LoDestro and Oare’s seats by write-in at the May 17 budget vote. 

New York State’s Department of Education sets forth a plan for the District to implement the change in board size over a two-year span, which calls for the District to have an eight-person board for the 2022-23 school year, and have a seven-person structure in place for the 2023-24 school year.

Bus Purchase

Also on the ballot this year, voters will see a proposition to approve the purchase of three 66-passenger buses and one van or suburban vehicle to replace aging vehicles with high mileage and maintain the safety of the District’s fleet. The total cost is not to exceed $451,000, of which $344,721 will be paid for using the District’s Capital Bus Purchase Reserve Fund (savings). Those funds already exist, but voters need to approve the District spending it. The balance of the bus purchase is included in the 2022-23 budget — the cost of which is offset by transportation aid that the District will receive back from New York state. 

Knox Facilities Improvement

The community will also be asked to vote on a capital project using no more than $2 million of pre-existing funds from the District’s Construction Capital Reserve Fund (savings) for work primarily focused on updating and repairing facilities at the Knox Field. Improvements include replacing the 15-year-old turf, track resurfacing and restoration/replacement of sections of the wrought iron fence that are rusted, bent and showing overall weakness on the South Perry Street side. The $2 million has been intentionally saved and set aside for these anticipated costs and are available for planned use, but require voter approval for the District to spend. The cost of this project is not included as part of the 2022–23 proposed budget and does not affect the District’s 2022-23 tax levy.

In addition to next Tuesday’s Public Budget Hearing, community members will receive a budget newsletter by mail in the days leading up to the May 17 vote, which will contain more detailed information about the proposed budget for 2022-23 and the other two propositions on this year’s ballot.

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