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Budget, project on tap in Forestville school vote

FORESTVILLE — With the Forestville Central School District budget approved by the Board of Education, they now just wait on the community vote on the budget, which will take place Tuesday. The budget for the 2021-22 school year is set at $13,028,780, which is an increase of 1.21 percent from the 2020-21 budget. The budget also has an increase in the tax levy for the 2021-22 school year, up 1.17 percent from the 2020-21 year.

Included in that budget is the expansion of the Capital Outlay project, which will include improvements to the school’s infrastructure, as well as new equipment

“There’s a few things we’re going to be doing in the next year to help our students succeed,” said Forestville’s District Treasurer Jennifer Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald mentioned that the school is also planning to replace the end-of-life student Chromebooks, while also expanding the one-to-one student Chromebook program by providing devices for students in grades Pre-K through third. Another thing being worked on in the Capital Outlay project is in house renovations.

“Some of our floors are in rough shape and some of our stairwells aren’t doing too well,” Fitzgerald said. “Those are some of the things we’re looking to work on.”

During the budget hearing on Thursday afternoon, Fitzgerald said that Forestville has $1,247,286 in their reserve, but because of the nature of the last year during the pandemic, they have looked to save costs anywhere they can.

“It’s a very good reserve budget in case we need to use it,” Fitzgerald said. “We’ve tried to save everything we can. Everything has been a need and not a want, which will hopefully make us look good at the end of the year.”

The vote on the budget will be held on May 18 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Elementary School cafeteria. The location is new this year, as the vote had previously always taken place in the High School lobby.

“We do have plans for redirecting traffic,” said Forestville superintendent Renne Garrett. “We looked at the best way for parent pickup to happen at the same time voters are coming in. There’s a 10 to 15 minute squeeze of additional traffic that we’re going to be extremely careful about directing in the right way. You’ll see lots of signage and you’ll see our staff out there with safety vests on so there’s not a big log jam.”

Garrett said that on average, they get around 200 voters, so they’re anticipating being fine. There will also be temperature checks done by the cameras with thermal scans, and Garrett also expects people to fill out their own questionnaires to make sure no one is sick. There will be only one point of entry to keep voters out of the main school building.

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