CANTON — There was no public comment during the Canton Central School District budget hearing on Thursday night.
Voters will be asked to review a proposed $34 million budget from noon to 8 p.m. May 17 in the high school library.
Mail-in ballots must be delivered to the district clerk by 4 p.m. on May 17.
Voters will be asked to vote on the 2022-23 budget, three bus bail no more than $435,000, four school board seats and the Canton Free Library proposal for a levy of $402,992.
The library referendum is separate from the school district budget.
The district’s spending plan is $1.7 million over last year’s plan and requires a $309,000 increase in taxes, a 2.9% increase over the last budget.
More than $250,000 of the $1.7 million budget increase comes from an increase in commodities, Superintendent Ronald P. Burke said.
The district expects an increase of $125,000 in electricity, $45,000 in natural gas and $116,000 in transportation expenses for fuel, tires, parts and supplies, Burke said.
The district will add a foreign language teacher position that was cut 10 years ago, allowing instruction to begin in seventh grade and adding advanced classes for high school students.
The school is also adding a full-time senior account clerk.
There is a $1.2 million increase in program spending largely attributable to employee benefits.
Health insurance costs are expected to rise 16%, Burke said.
The budget also includes $100,000 in capital expenditures, which are 90% covered by state assistance. The money will be used to improve the lighting of the elementary school gymnasium and to build a play area suitable for kindergarten students.
There are three candidates vying for four school board seats. Three are three-year terms and one is one-year.
The nominees are incumbents Robert E. Larrabee, Jessica Sierk and Denise Sero. A writing could fill the fourth seat. The candidate with the lowest vote total will serve the one-year term.
If the budget is not passed, the council can submit a revised budget to voters or opt for an emergency budget.
An emergency budget will require a reduction of approximately $120,000 in expenditures and the elimination of the $100,000 capital project.
In a contingency budget, the tax levy remains the same as the previous year and equipment cannot be purchased.