Board Talks Possible Budget Increase

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The Port Washington Board of Education met on Feb. 4 at the Port Washington Public Library to discuss the budget for the 2020-21 school year.

Board of education trustee Dave Kerpen stated that the Budget and Facilities Committee discussed the possibility of needing additional funding due to the fact that roofs for six of the seven schools in the district need to be replaced.

“We discussed the need for roofing and how we are going to finance that,” Kerpen said. “While we have not made a final decision, it looks like we will be financing our roofing needs via the transfer capital line. What that means is that we can expect to have a more significant transfered capital line than we’ve had in the past, which would result in an increase in our taxes. I’m saying that now to begin to prepare us as a community because we absolutely have to figure out a way to make sure our roofs are taken care of and our children and our staff are safe.”

Kerpen said that the committee did explore the option of opening up a bond to finance the roofing needs, however they ultimately decided that the interest the community would pay over time would exceed the tax increase of the transfer to capital.

“We are going to have to go into our wallets a little bit. But our money is going to fund the roofs directly and not interest for a bond for many years to come,” Kerpen said.

Additionally, the committee discussed the construction at Whitney Fields, where new lights will be added to allow the students to practice at night. The committee will also be discussing ways they can open up that field to members of the community in the future.

Kerpen said that the district has been looking for ways to drive revenue.

“We have officially added a brilliant recommendation from our meeting with the teachers to our working list of top potential ways to drive revenues,” Kerpen said.
The committee will be exploring the option of creating a daycare facility in the community, as well as six additional ideas, which Kerpen stated are all worthy of a continued discussion. Kerpen also stated that a subcommittee will be meeting later this month to discuss the future of the property that the district owns in Sands Point.

The next board of education meeting will take place on Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. in the library at Schreiber High School. On the agenda for the meeting, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Hynes will be giving a presentation regarding the State of the District.

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