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WCS Budget Work Stalled

Waterville Board of Education members had set their meeting of March 24 as the one to lock in what the 2020-21 budget would look like when it goes to voters in May.

Instead, the situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic delayed those decisions and thrown the work done so far into uncertainty.

Board members did have their meeting last week, but it was done remotely by calling into a group chat line. Much of their 45-minute discussion concerned the changes made and still needed in the district due to the coronavirus crisis.

Six of the seven board members - Roberta Williams works in healthcare and was unable to do the meeting - joined Superintendent Chuck Chafee, Business administrator Tracy Leone and Board clerk Kim Fancett on the call, also joined by the Waterville Times.

Board president Steve Stanton started the meeting the usual way with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Chafee opened the discussion with an update on the status of school closures. Waterville, like all schools in Oneida County, was ordered to close from March 16 and reopen April 14 by County Executive Anthony Picente’s State of Emergency declaration.

However, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as of last week, had issued the statewide school closing only through March 31. After that, if schools remain closed, Cuomo has said they will not receive their state aid during that time.

Chafee said Waterville has two unused snow days and a Superintendent’s day to use this week to fill out the three days, should the governor not lengthen the statewide closure. Schools were then scheduled for the spring break the first week in April, which would take them to April 14.

“A lot of my peers are not in the same boat,’’ Chafee said…

The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper. 

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