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Albion school budget holds line on taxes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 April 2016 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – The Albion Middle School is pictured last month. The school district for the ninth time in the past 10 years won’t be raising taxes in 2016-17.

ALBION – A boost in state aid helped Albion Central School close a budget gap, allowing the district to hold the line on taxes.

The Board of Education approved a $33,890,990 budget on Monday. It increases spending by 1.96 percent or about $650,000.

Albion was able to stave off a tax increase and preserve its existing programs after the state came through with a $728,369 increase in funding for the school district. In the governor’s budget proposal in January, Albion was looking at about $319,000 more in state aid. The final budget boosted the governor’s number by more than $400,000 for Albion.

“We’re grateful for all the state aid we receive,” said Shawn Liddle, the district’s assistant superintendent for business.

He presented the budget on Monday to the Board of Education. Liddle noted the budget marks the ninth time in the past decade that Albion will either reduce taxes or keep them at the same amount.

The spending plan for 2016-17 keeps all staff, except for a clerical position at the district office, a job that was eliminated by attrition.

The district’s student enrollment is projected to drop 2 percent next school year, down from 1,872 students to 1,834.

The district will have a hearing on the budget on May 10 at 7 p.m. at the LGI in the high school. The budget vote will be May 17 from noon to 8 p.m. at the elementary school conference room.

The May 17 vote includes one five-year seat on the Board of Education. Petitions from district residents to run for the position are due at the district office by April 18

Other propositions on the May ballot will include:

Authorization to spend up to $460,000 for buses;

Approval to collect $687,211 for Hoag Library. That is up 1 percent from the $680,411 for 2015-16.