On Tuesday voters will go to the polls to decide on the Riverhead School District’s budget for the 2020-21 school year.
No changes have been made since the $147 million budget was rejected during June’s mail-in vote. The district is facing serious cuts and layoffs if voters do not approve the budget on Tuesday.
In late June, the board adopted a $144.8 million contingency budget, based on state mandates, so that the district could continue to operate in the new fiscal year that started July 1. The contingency budget slashed nearly $1.5 million from athletics, music, and club programs. If voters once again say no to the budget, the district will be forced to continue under the contingency budget for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.
The proposed budget before voters again is 1.87 percent higher than last school year’s budget. If approved, the budget will mean a tax levy increase of 2.21 percent, which is within the New York State tax levy cap.
According to the district, for the average assessed home, the difference between the proposed budget and contingent budget is about $110 per year.
Voting takes place Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., at the district’s regular polling places. Polling places can be found by checking the district’s “Where Do I Vote” link under BOE – Budget and Election Voting Information on the district website.
Absentee ballots must be returned no later than 5 p.m. on July 28. A drop box is located at the district office for hand-delivery of the ballots.