Voters approve school budgets across region’s three districts

Voters in the region’s three school districts (Millbrook, Pine Plains and Webutuck) cast ballots on Tuesday, May 21, approving of their respective school spending plans for the 2024-25 fiscal year. All candidates for positions on the various school boards were seated.

Additional budget propositions for capital expenditures won approval from voters in the districts of Webutuck and Pine Plains, but not from voters in Millbrook, where all four propositions failed to pass.

Millbrook’s school expenditure budget for 2024-25 was approved by voters by a margin of 386 to 274, totaling $34,575,075, an increase of $575,702 (1.69%) over the current year.

The four propositions that accompanied the budget on the ballot, however, were decisively defeated. All were bonding propositions in support of major improvements, including HVAC upgrade ($55M) in all buildings, program and compliance upgrades at the Middle and High School and Elm Drive ($15M), and additional enhancements at the three schools ($6M).

Candidates to fill two positions on the school board, Chris LaBelle and David LaVarnway, won re-election, both for three-year terms.

Voters in Pine Plains approved their district’s expenditure budget by a margin of 261 to 106.

Total expenditures stand at $37,689,744, an increase of $1,274,533 (3.5%) over the current year. The amount that will need to be raised by taxes is $27,021,126.

Propositions to purchase three new 65-passenger school buses ($153,990 each) and to approve an appropriation of $2M from unassigned funds to the repair reserve fund were both approved. A fourth proposition that won passage was to allow a student representative to sit at Board of Education meetings and participate in discussions of agenda items. The student representative will not be permitted to vote, however.

Three candidates for the Board of Education were all elected to fill openings, including Jean Stapf, Claire Copley-Eisenberg and Joseph Kiernan.

Webutuck school district voters approved the proposed expenditure budget by a margin of 155 to 54 and passed both accompanying propositions. The district’s expense budget totals $27,054,075, an increase of $1,081,377 (4.16%) over the current year. The amount to be raised by taxes is $18,431,291.

Propositions that passed included $222,238 for purchase of a school bus and another vehicle, and an expenditure from the Capital Reserve Fund of $4,500,000.

Two unopposed candidates for the school board will be seated, including Joanne Boyd (174 votes) and Amanda Gallagher (172 votes). One will be seated immediately; the other will begin serving on July 1. Both terms will expire in 2027.

According to preliminary results compiled the New York State School Boards Association, voters approved 97.3% of proposed school district budgets on Tuesday, May 21.

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