Monday, August 15, 2016

Dog Days of Summer-Part 2

A Hot and Humid Summer: Let's face it, it has been REALLY hot and humid the past couple of weeks. I don't know about you, but I am very careful not to complain about it because in a few months I will be up at four in the morning trying to determine if we are going to have a snow day or not.

The heat did cause our Marching Band to pack up early one day last week, and I cannot remember a time when that has happened. If you have children involved in athletics or Marching Band, you can keep track of the heat index just like we do by downloading the Weather Bug app or finding the website on your computer. Look for the "Feels Like" portion and compare what it reads to this handy chart.

I am hoping we do not need to use it as high school fall sports began today but if we do, you can keep track yourself! We will soon be placing our own weather station for Weather Bug at the high school so we can read temperatures as accurately as possible.

Capital Project Update: Over the past couple of weeks we have continued to manage our capital project and it is really coming together. This week is critical to the project completing on time. We will therefore be focusing a lot of our energies in buildings and with contractors to make sure that everything is completed. I am sure they will all love me. Truth be told, from our project manager through each contractor, trade, and worker, I have not worked with a better crew, ever.

Sharing Services with our Neighbors: We have received a request from the Onondaga Central School District to help them with their food service program. Right now, food service programs in New York state are struggling, but we have been able to weather the storm and our food service program is actually quite successful.

Sharing a service is helpful in the eyes of elected officials as they all call for schools to be as efficient as possible and to share services whenever they can.

We currently share services with the Town of Camillus (facilities and salt), we service all of Solvay Central School District's buses (for five years now), and we will be adding the management of the Onondaga Central School District food service program.

Many thanks to our Assistant Superintendent for Management Services, Paul Pelton, and his crew for the research and development on this initiative.

Update on Tax Rates: If you have followed our budget presentations over the years you know that we have always estimated tax rates that are higher than they end up being when tax bills are printed. (Can you believe I am beginning my ninth year here already? Check out the picture to the right where I am talking with a student on the first day of school in September 2008.

For this year, and thanks to significant assessment growth in the Town of Camillus, many taxpayers will see a tax rate reduction compared to last year while others will see an increase that is significantly lower than what we anticipated. This is much better than we had estimated, so we will take it!

Thanks and enjoy the week!