School’s annual meeting is set for Oct. 29

By Dave Fidlin


With a deadline for a final 2018-19 school year budget looming, officials in the Washington-Caldwell district recently discussed the final stretch in assembling the financial document.

At a School Board meeting Oct. 15, Rachel Opgenorth, district bookkeeper and financial secretary, discussed the proposed budget.

Front and center within the document is a 63-cent drop in the tax rate – from $7.40 per $1,000 of equalized value a year ago to $6.77 per $1,000 of equalized value this year.

The figure, which is set in stone, means property owners living within the K-8 feeder district’s boundaries will likely pay less in the specific line item when tax bills arrive in December.

The exact effect of Washington-Caldwell’s budget from one household to the next could vary. The district largely serves Town of Waterford residents, but its boundaries also slip into the periphery of a few neighboring municipalities.

Opgenorth said the district’s property tax levy also is expected to decrease this year, as a result of ongoing declining enrollment. This is the fourth consecutive year Washington-Caldwell has notched enrollment declines in year-over-year comparisons.

A draft of the district’s spending plan for this school year is being published in the legals section of the Waterford Post and will be republished Oct. 26, with any necessary amendments, to conform to state statute, Opgenorth said.

The two consecutive publications of the budget served as a precursor to the district’s annual meeting and budget hearing, which have been set for 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, at Washington School, 8937 Big Bend Road.

Opgenorth, District Administrator Jill Saltzmann and other Washington-Caldwell officials will give a more in-depth presentation of the budget — including the tax levy — and offer up other highlights.

Residents attending the annual meeting also will have an opportunity to vote on a number of resolutions, including the allocation of funds toward capital spending in this year’s budget. Washington-Caldwell has been saving up in recent years for a large-scale roof replacement project.