This Wednesday, Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education will vote on the first budget decrease in the district’s history. The $34.9 million proposed budget is 1.06 percent less than last year’s regional district budget.
The current proposal is $180,000 less than the budget originally proposed in February.
“The goal was to have a zero percent increase in payments for both towns,” said Ian Neviaser, superintendent of Lyme-Old Lyme Schools. “Originally, even though Lyme was seeing a reduction in cost, Old Lyme was looking at a $180,000 increase.”
The nearly $200,000 in total savings from the 2019-2020 budget come from a refinancing of the debt service, a reduction in special education tuition and transportation costs as well as minimal overtime costs for snow plowing this winter.
School closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have saved the district some money, including spring sports expenses, substitute teachers and monthly electricity bills.
“Some savings are because the school is closed, but I’m looking at the entire year in savings, that’s why we are able to lower the budget,” Neviaser said. “COVID did help, but the majority was savings prior to school closures.”The budget vote will be held this Wednesday, May 6 at 6 p.m. All residents can attend the meeting virtually.