Binghamton school board adopts budget, awards bids for MacArthur

By Jillian Marshall

April 8, 2014 Updated Apr 8, 2014 at 11:46 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Binghamton City School District on Tuesday moved forward to adopt next year's final budget and approve two main contractors to rebuild MacArthur Elementary.

The $108 million budget maintains all jobs in the district and stays well below Binghamton's state-imposed tax levy limit.

It includes a 2.95 percent tax levy increase, far less than the district's tax levy limit, which is set at 4.41 percent.

If approved, it would mean an additional $80 per month for every $100,000 in property value for Binghamton homeowners. Residents in the town of Dickinson would pay an additional $120 per every $100,000 in property value.

This budget will also add $400,000 to help support additional services for kindergarten through second grade.

Because of the New York state property tax freeze included in the state budget signed into law earlier this month, property owners would also receive a rebate check in the future.

"They [Board of Education members] felt it was the best option was to move forward with the 2.96 percent because our property tax owners will receive a rebate and it will allow us to use less of our reserves to make us healthier fiscally," said Assistant Superintendent for Administration Karry Mullins.

A public hearing will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 6, and there is a public vote set for May 20.

Also Tuesday, the board awarded two bids for more than $14 million for site and structural work at MacArthur Elementary.

Binghamton-based G. DeVincentis and Son Construction was the lowest bid for site work, and won the bid at $5.8 million.

LeChase Construction Services, LLC, which is headquartered in Rochester, submitted an $8.4 million bid for structural work.

Ashley McGraw architects also released construction plans. They said construction will start as soon as possible and the school is still on track to be ready for students in September 2015.

The foundation is expected to be laid by June.

The track at MacArthur will not be open during the construction period.