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Lake Placid school voters say yes to capital project, budget

Lake Placid school voters say yes to capital project, budget

Lake Placid school voters say yes to capital project, budget

Voters in the Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District approved a $70.5 million 2017-18 budget by a margin of 872 to 308.

Parents, students and community members who worked to write the resolution spoke to the board at a meeting earlier this month and said they needed to know the district supported them so they could feel a little safer.

In addition to the budget passing, Proposition 2, which authorized the district to spend $675,000 from the technology replacement fund, was approved 1,107 to 340. Under a new millage rate of 29.71 mills, a 1.89 percent tax increase would equate to an additional $74 a year in real estate property taxes for the median $135,000 home assessment.

Also in a separate proposition, voters will also be asked to authorize the purchase of six school buses for $667,676, bonded over five years. Heather Welch received 694 votes; Alan Barone drew 67.

Superintendent Larry Ljungberg told the Olean Times Herald that nearly all residents who voted down the budget and completed exit poll surveys complained about aspects of the capital project in the surveys. Casey received the majority of the votes, with 2,301 and Hoffman received 1,466.

Zelich said the district will continue to face budget increases because of annual salary, health insurance and pension increases. Under plans presented to the school board in March, classrooms will be better organized and grouped by grade level; hallways will be extended; secure entranceways will be established; and classroom spaces will be updated to improve layout, appearance and acoustics. It restricts school districts and municipalities to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. Those are the institutions that are turning out future community members, hosting cultural and sports events, offering continuing education for adults.

The Rome School District budget totals $115 million and also holds the line on property taxes.

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The proposed budget was just under $10 million.

Among the revenue sources is $1.3 million from "gambling money" or state funding collected from casinos to defray property tax costs, according to Stan Johnson, executive director of operations. Voters also allowed the purchase of transportation vehicles to replace existing vehicles in the transportation program of the district for a sum not to exceed $250,000 in a 184 to 48 vote. Voters also approved the establishment and initial funding of a capital improvements reserve fund, with 388 voting in favor and 134 voting against.

The resolution directs the school district to ensure officials are not collecting information about the legal status of students or their families, that they keep schools safe for students and families, and that a memo the district sent to school leaders in February gets translated and made available to all families and all staff. The budget has a zero percent spending increase and increases the property tax levy by 1 percent, - less than the NY state property tax cap for the district of 1.55 percent.

Lyndonville also had three other propositions on the budget vote.

The Wheelerville Union Free School District's $4.4 million 2017-18 passed, 107-17.

In Downsville, the budget passed 85-19, and school board member Brian LaTourette kept his seat with 97 votes.

The second phase of a long-term plan to renovate and upgrade district schools will turn the attention to elementary schools.

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