C-R superintendent cautiously optimistic over budget


By Jim Poole

Cobleskill-Richmondville Superintendent Carl Mummenthey is cautiously optimistic about the district’s 2019-20 budget.
But there’s still a long way to go.
C-R officials and the Citizens Budget Committee reviewed an early draft of the budget and are also considering Governor Andrew Cuomo’s projected increase in state aid to schools.
C-R would receive an increase of $450,000 in aid under the Governor’s proposal, a hike of about two percent.
That would leave a deficit of $310,000 in C-R’s draft budget, though the draft is far from final.
If the early $310,000 deficit seems large, it’s not when compared with other years.
“The past couple of years, the deficit’s been in the $400,000-$700,000 range,” Mr. Mummenthey said.
The state Assembly and Senate will release their versions of the budget in a few weeks, and each may carry an increase in aid to schools.
“The biggest variable is what the legislature decides,” Mr. Mummenthey said.
Complicating the financial picture is that the Governor has warned of a $2.3 billion deficit in the state budget, which may affect aid.
Also, for the first time in years, Governor Cuomo will be working with––or be at odds with––a Senate controlled by Democrats, his own party.
“The Senate has already shown it’s sympathetic” to Upstate concerns, Mr. Mummenthey said.
C-R’s tax levy cap is expected to be 1.9 to 1.95 percent, “and we have no intention of overriding the tax limit,” Mr. Mummenthey said.
He expected C-R’s deficit, whatever the figure is, to be closed by cuts and an increase in aid in the final state budget.
Mr. Mummenthey had no total figure for the draft budget.
C-R’s budget this year totals $41.6 million. Voters approved that budget in May.