Colts Neck school board puts $26M budget in place for 2019-20

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COLTS NECK – The Colts Neck K-8 School District Board of Education has voted to adopt a $26.17 million budget for the 2019-20 school year.

Colts Neck’s residential and commercial property owners will pay $23.48 million in local taxes to support the operation of the school district in the upcoming year. The district will receive $1.183 million in state aid for 2019-20, which represents a $47,000 increase from the $1.136 million in state aid the district received in 2018-19.

During a meeting on May 1, board President Dr. Kimberly Raymond and board members Marian Castner, Jacquelyn Hoagland, Marci Klein, Kevin O’Connor and Rebecca Roberts and voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the budget.

Vice President Kathryn Gizzo and board members Danielle Alpaugh and Michael Taylor were absent.

The district’s 2018-19 budget totaled $25.79 million and was supported by a $23.02 million tax levy. From 2018-19 to 2019-20, total appropriations are up $380,000 and the tax levy is up $460,000.

Colts Neck’s K-8 school tax rate for 2018-19 was 76 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at $828,700 paid about $6,298 in K-8 school taxes.

Colts Neck’s K-8 school tax rate for 2019-20 will be 77.56 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at $828,700 will pay about $6,427 in K-8 school taxes.

In addition to K-8 school taxes, property owners also pay Colts Neck municipal taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes and Monmouth County taxes.

The amount an individual pays in taxes is determined by the assessed value of his home and/or property, and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.

The 2019-20 budget includes:

• $98,000 for 37 new short-throw classroom projectors, K-8;

• $57,000 for year one of a five-year lease of 36 network gigabit switches and licenses;

• $8,000 for maintenance equipment for the transportation department;

• $30,000 for the replacement of bleachers in the Cedar Drive Middle School gymnasium;

• $35,000 for the replacement of a maintenance truck;

• $40,000 for the replacement of floor tiles in five classrooms at the Cedar Drive Middle School;

• $10,000 for storm drain repairs;

• $20,000 for the cost of a special referendum election in September.

In other appropriations, administrators said the cost of employee benefits will increase from $4.4 million to $4.67 million.

According to district administrators, there are currently 277 employees in the district (239 full-time and 38 part-time).

In regard to staffing for 2019-20, administrators said there will be two full-time teaching positions reduced from the middle school and four full-time instructional aide positions reduced from across the district. A part-time bus driver will be added. There will be a reduction of preschool classes from six to five, and the addition of a second grade class in the upcoming school year.

Colts Neck, which educates children in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, has a current enrollment of 978 students and projects an enrollment of 993 students at the start of the 2019-20 school year.

The district consists of the Conover Road Primary School, the Conover Road Elementary School and the Cedar Drive Middle School.