Binghamton battles budget, MacArthur one step away from construction

By Jillian Marshall

March 18, 2014 Updated Mar 19, 2014 at 10:24 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A smaller tax levy may be coming to residents in the Binghamton City School District.

The district presented its proposed 2014-15 budget to the Board of Education Tuesday night.

The $108 million plan has a tax levy of 2.95 percent, which is close to 1 percent lower than what was presented last month.

This budget proposal maintains all jobs, but the district would leave five positions vacant after retirements.

This is a very different picture than what the district experienced last year.

"Not having to lay off workers, and support staff, and professional staff has really been much easier this year than last year," said Assistant Superintendent Karry Mullins.

Mullins said they are still working with a structural deficit because state aid is less than what the district expected.

The board will vote to adopt the budget at its next meeting on April 8.

Binghamton is also one step closer to shovels hitting the earth on a new MacArthur Elementary, which was destroyed in the September 2011 flood.

The district is waiting for approval from the State Education Department, or SED, on changes to plans for electric, heat and ventilation, which are the only outstanding issues and could be finalized later this week.

"We're really excited, cautiously optimistic, we know that there's a lot involved in this project and SED wants to make sure that everything is in order and compliant," Mullins said.

The project remains on track to be ready for students in the fall of 2015.

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