Dansville Central School
Superintendent gives budget update
Superintendent Paul Alioto provided the Dansville Board of Education with a 2012-13 budget update at the most recent school board meeting.
First, Alioto reported on the Community Forum held on Jan. 30. The meeting was an opportunity for the public to discuss the budget situation with other residents, school administration, teachers, and more.
Those in attendance offered their opinions on what should be cut/preserved, ways to improve communication, and cost-saving measures.
The suggestions were then presented to the Board of Education for discussion.
One of the suggestions involved either decreasing the number of administrators in the district or freezing their salaries.
While Board President Mary Ann Holden disagrees with the concept of eliminating an administrator(s), she suggested conducting an audit. The audit would analyze each administrator’s duties — and determine if the district is making the most effective use of each position.
“It will either prove me wrong or help put the issue to rest,” said Holden.
Next, the superintendent provided an update on retiree health insurance benefits which are expected to contribute to the 2012-13 budget increase.
During last month’s school board meetings, Alioto estimated a $231,000 increase in retiree health insurance.
In order to combat the issue, Tracey Schulz and Kristen Barrett led an effort to educate retirees on other health insurance plans.
Between 30 and 40 people showed up to their presentation. About seventeen individuals have already changed plans.
While the new plan saves the district money, it also provides retirees better coverage for serious medical conditions like cancer. However, to ensure that retirees are satisfied, they have the ability to switch back to their original policy (if they deem it was a better fit).
Thus far, based on the number of people switching policies, the district will save about $74,000. That equals roughly a one percent tax levy increase. “That’s a win… we expect more people to switch,” said Alioto. “Kudos to the retirees that switched.”
The next scheduled Board of Education meeting is Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.
Traffic safety audit released
The results of the traffic safety audit were also revealed at the Board of Education meeting. The audit was conducted after the Jan. 25 incident where a student was dragged by a bus.
The accident was declared “an isolated incident.” The report also indicated that the Transportation Department is well-trained and safety conscious.
While the report had good things to say overall, it did specify some areas of concern.
The first issue relates to the design of vehicle/pedestrian traffic patterns – which lead to congestion.
Secondly, the audit raised issue with the release of students into the loading zone prior to the actual arrival of buses.
Lastly, the audit noted the possibility of a transportation department merger (with Wayland-Cohocton CSD) was causing a distraction. As a result of the audit’s findings, Alioto recommended that discussions of an “all-out” transportation merger be stopped.
However, Alioto does still hope for some cost savings in the transportation area.