by Nicole Reitz
The Fulton Board of Education adopted its $65.26 million budget Tuesday night, making it one of the first local districts to approve its budget for the 2013-14 academic year.
However, the budget was not adopted unanimously. Four voted yes, two voted no and one abstained.
Board members Fred Cavalier and Brian Hotaling voted against the budget, expressing their concerns about the tax levy increase. Dan Pawlewicz abstained from voting.
After the last meeting, Superintendent Bill Lynch went back to the budget draft to reassess spending line by line. The budget that was approved varies little from prior drafts discussed earlier in the year.
A budget to budget increase of almost $3 million is in part the result of rising pension costs.
“We have over $1.1 million just in pensions and that’s an increase we can’t control unless we lower our payroll,” said Business Administrator Kathy Nichols.
The budget includes a 1.5 percent increase in the local tax levy and uses more than $2 million from the district’s reserve fund. These two combined factors make up for the money not provided by aid from the state.
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