Manhasset ed board considers capital reserve proposition vote in May

Amelia Camurati
Manhasset Board of Education President Regina Rule, second from left, and Trustee Christine Monterroso, right, are running for re-election this May. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

Manhasset Superintendent Vincent Butera told the Board of Education Thursday that administrators were nearly ready to present a proposed 2018-19 budget to trustees.

Butera said the board will get a copy of the proposed budget, which he said was not expected to exceed the state-mandated tax cap, before a public presentation at 9 a.m. March 10 in the Charlie Cardillo Community Room.

Rosemary Johnson, deputy superintendent of finances, asked trustees to consider putting a 2018 capital reserve proposal on the ballot May 15.

“It is time to position, to have the greatest flexibility for the district, the next iteration of a capital reserve,” Johnson said. “We are making the recommendation that we place on the ballot in May a proposition to establish a 2018 capital reserve, and I would once again recommend $10 million for 10 years. I think that has served us very nicely.”

Johnson said the current capital reserve, which was approved in 2010, was authorized for $10 million over 10 years. The fund is expected to be fully funded by next year with only $1.5 million left to add.

Johnson said speaking in round numbers, the balance is currently about $3.5 million and would be about $5 million once fully funded.

Butera said at the Board of Education meeting at 8 p.m. March 8, a presentation will be made of potential new projects to begin considering as well as possible security upgrades the district could make in the wake of school shootings in 2018.

Johnson said districts take one of two paths for capital project funding: a capital reserve or a capital projects budget line item.

The capital reserve is used in place of a bond, Johnson said, and like a bond, use of the funds still requires voter approval. The vote in May, she said, “just creates the vehicle,” and gives the board authorization to create the account but not how to spend the money yet.

“If we don’t put it on the ballot this year, then we may lose our funding opportunity as we get to 2019-20,” Johnson said. “If we have completed the funding of the 2010 capital reserve, we will have nowhere to put funds, so the timing really is now to seek the approval to establish the account.”

About the author

Amelia Camurati

Amelia Camurati is a Southern transplant and a reporter covering Roslyn and Manhasset.
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