May 17, 2017 10:30 AM

Residents of the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District voted by a margin of 358-91 to approve a $28.2 million spending plan for the 2017-18 school year on Tuesday, May 16. The adopted budget keeps all current programming intact, and reflects a 5.57 percent spending increase over the current budget with a 1.9 percent increase in the tax levy.

“I would like to thank the residents who came out to vote on the budget and elect our board members,” Superintendent of Schools Thomas Ciaccio said. “This budget represents what Fonda-Fultonville is all about, which is providing a cost-effective, first class education for all of our students.”

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Voters re-elected Michael Lewis and Dennis Egelston to the Board of Education for three-year terms. Lewis received 333 votes and Egelston received 241 votes. Michelle Isabella, who was a third candidate, received 239 votes.

Additions to next year’s budget include:

  • A new Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) program that will allow all students the opportunity to graduate with a CDOS commencement credential added to their high school diplomas.
  • An in-house life skills program for special education students, which focuses on helping students develop life skills, such as cooking, doing laundry and managing money. This program is currently offered to students through a contract with BOCES, but district leaders estimate that providing this service in-house will save $150,000 annually.
  • Increased school-based counseling supports for students through partnerships with agencies such as Catholic Charities and the Family Counseling Center.

In addition to the budget, voters also approved propositions to authorize a bus lease (348-95) and create a capital reserve fund (354-89). The four-year bus lease is for one 66-passenger bus and one 20-passenger bus. The reserve fund will allow the district to put any annual surplus money aside in a special, voter-controlled fund that could be used to address future renovations and repairs within the district. Voter approval will be required before capital reserve funds are spent.

Propositions to allocate $16,198 to the Frothingham Free Library in Fonda, and $12,000 to the Fort Hunter Free Library were also approved. Under State Education Law, funding for the libraries is collected by the school district and then forwarded to the respective libraries. The vote for the Frothingham Free Library was 389-57, and the vote for the Fort Hunter Free Library was 367-75.


Sean Maloney

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