Budget cuts on the table at Berkshire Hills


GREAT BARRINGTON -- How to cut $50,000. Or $100,000. Even $150,000.

Superintendent Peter Dillon tonight will present to the Berkshire Hills Regional School Committee with a number of options on how to save money on its proposed budget for fiscal 2015.

The meeting is slated for 7 p.m. at Monument Valley Middle School. The committee hopes to vote on a final number at tonight’s meeting.

The district has proposed a $23.5 million budget represents a 5.2 percent increase in the assessment to Great Barrington, a 14.4 percent to West Stockbridge residents and a 3 percent jump for those living in Stockbridge.

In addition to asking Dillon for a list of potential savings, the School Committee discussed possibly applying money from the district’s Excess and Deficiency account. The balance on that account is around $900,000, according to District Business Administrator Sharon Harrison.

However, she said, that represents only a small percentage of the school budget.

"It seems like a lot of money," she said, "but in regards to this budget, it’s not."

Traditionally, the E&D acc-
ount is applied to unexpected expenses, specifically special education students, who sometimes cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per single placement.

School Committee chairman Steve Bannon said he would be willing to "roll the dice" and apply some of the money to reduce town assessments.

To reach Derek Gentile:
or (413) 496-6251.
On Twitter: @DerekGentile


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