March 12 Budget Meeting: Transportation, Maintenance, & Custodial; Debt Service

The second of four budget committee meetings for NCCSD’s proposed 2024-25 budget was held March 12 in the Shaker Middle School Auditorium. Presentations were provided on transportation, maintenance, and custodial, as well as on the proposed debt service.


Transportation Director Denise Towne provided a side-by-side comparison of how the department has grown and changed year-to-year.

Transportation staff is projecting district buses to cover nearly 60,000 more miles, totaling 897,157 and to transport 300 more public school students, totaling 6,206 during the current 2023-24 school year than it did in 2022-23.

While the number of drivers is up by one this year for a total of 65, there is still a need for additional drivers, Mrs. Towne said. 

While NCCSD is in a cycle of replacing its buses every 10 years, the department has been able to keep some beyond that thanks to having its own body and paint shop, as well as the ability to wash buses inside which keeps the body in better shape longer, Mrs. Towne said.

The department, in keeping with New York state’s mandated timelines for all school districts to convert their bus fleets to EV, is buying two, 30-passenger EV buses after several years of research and planning. The last year districts can buy buses with emissions is 2027 and the fleet must be fully converted to EV by 2035. 

Mrs. Towne said in addition to the district receiving a NYSERDA grant for piloting the buses, the reason for starting with 30-occupant vehicles is they fit in space currently available at transportation that can include a charging station and will take less power to charge.


Director of Facilities and Maintenance Brian Craft shared that his department is serving 13 locations across the district that total over one million square feet, in addition to 284 acres of property. Maintenance’s equipment request for 2024-25 is limited to only a van and a truck with a dump body and plow to replace two aging vehicles. The department’s vehicle replacement plan remains on schedule through 2027-28 and has no equipment requests this year due to prior purchases of equipment that can serve multiple purposes, Mr. Craft said. 

Maintenance projects proposed for the 2024-25 school year are: security upgrades to interior and exterior doors; a grant-funded K-Wing instructional kitchen upgrade; adjustments to the SHS Library teaching area; and lead water testing. 

Annual maintenance projects are: playground mulch, window shade & ceiling tile replacements, parking lot striping, and abatement as needed.


Director of Custodial Mark Weigert, who leads a staff of 53 plus substitute custodians, shared that his department serves 12 buildings and on average, a custodial worker on an eight-hour shift cleans 28,000-31,000 square feet.

The department has minimal equipment requests of the upcoming school year totaling only $15,400 for a floor scrubber and floor buffer.

Mr. Weigert, after a 35-plus year career entirely in the NCCSD is retiring, stating it’s been “an honor and privilege” to work for the district. He was congratulated and thanked by Board of Education president Linda Harrison who said when she was a teacher at SHS remembers Mr. Weigert when he began his career. “Your work ethic was so obvious,” she said.

Debt Service 

Assistant Superintendent for Business Cybil Howard shared that the bond issue from the 2001 authorization was fully paid off in 2022-23. Debt payments for the 2017 voter-approved $106.3 million capital project – $73.94 million bond issued in July 2021 and $24.935 million issued in June 2023 will have an estimated debt service of $7.7 million for the 2024-25 school year.

During the March 5 budget meeting, a Long-Range Planning Committee report shared a proposed Capital Project to go before voters on the May 21, 2024 vote. The presentation included a transfer of existing, previously-voter approved capital funds to begin a proposed $5.06 million in capital work that would touch many of the buildings across the district. 

Much of the work can be completed the NCCSD maintenance and facilities staff, Mrs. Howard said, and includes: Blue Creek Elementary cafeteria abatement work; Latham Ridge Gymnasium ventilation; Loudonville elevator upgrades; districtwide radio replacements; and at SHS, resurfacing the existing running track and replacing the fencing and refinishing the gymnasium floor.

“The transfer to capital project work will show momentum toward the scope of the larger capital project if it is approved by the voters,” Mrs. Howard said. “It will not require a vote to transfer the funds, but there will need to be a separate vote to approve spending the capital reserve.” 

For more information, the full March 12 budget presentation and livestream are available. The next in the series of budget meetings is Tuesday, March 19 beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Shaker Middle School Auditorium. The topics for this presentation are: Instructional Technology & Technology Equipment. Join us in-person or via livestream; click the live tab the day of the meeting.