Superintendent of Schools Dr. Elizabeth E. Feser pronounced herself thrilled as the approved the school’s budget as recommended in an evening when the BOF proposed a combined city and budget of $186,381,969. The sum represents a rate of increase of 1.55 percent over this year’s budget, with a proposed mill rate of 25.68.
“It’s a very good thing,” said Feser after the school budget — which, as proposed, amounts to $86,882,363 — passed through the BOF unscathed. “I’m thrilled for the school system.”
, whose proposed budget the BOF cut by a sum that amounted to just under $500,000, termed this year’s budget “very conservative.”
From the BOF, the budget as proposed now moves to the Board of Aldermen.
According to Director of Finance Peter A. Erodici Jr., department expenditures remained flat, with the small rate of increase in the overall budget the result of health care costs and some contractual wage obligations.
Erodici noted that a refunding of general obligation bonds saved $913,000 in interest. Of that, he said, $500,000 went into this year’s budget for schools, sewer and public improvement.
Now in his first full budget cycle, Erodici said the budget process to date gave him a sense of accomplishment.
Overall, the mood at the Board of Finance meeting after the combined budget was proposed by a unanimous vote was celebratory.
Board of Finance member Joseph Agro Jr. termed the approach to this year’s budget “seamless.”
“The process has moved forward,” he said.
He said that this has been a different kind of year for all of involved in the budget process than it has been for the last three. He said that endorsing the school budget as presented lent an expression of optimism to this year’s budgetary process, as the economy, while still difficult for some, may have begun to turn the corner.