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Most school districts avoid tax increase

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 May 2014 at 12:00 am

Voters will weigh in on budgets, candidates and propositions on Tuesday

Residents will go to the polls on Tuesday to vote on school budgets, propositions for buses and library funding, and also to elect members of the Board of Education.

Two of the districts will actually cut taxes, two will maintain the same tax levy and one is proposing a small increase.

Here is a snapshot of each district:

Albion

The district is proposing a $33,551,051 budget that increases spending by 0.61 percent from the $33,349,049 in 2013-14.

Albion is proposing a small tax decrease – a drop of 0.1 percent or $7,007 to $8,439,939.

The budget maintains existing programs and sets aside about $130,000 more for computer hardware, software and bandwidth upgrades in anticipation to a transition to on-line testing.

Four candidates are running for three positions on the Board of Education: two five-year terms and one one-year term. The top two vote-getters will get the five-year terms while the candidate with the third most votes gets the one-year term.

Kevin Doherty and David Sidari are both finishing five-year terms. They are running again. Marie Snyder, another incumbent, had a break from the BOE but was recently appointed to fill a vacancy from Melissa Osburn.  Her term has one year remaining. Snyder will be on the ballot. Wendy Kirby also is running for the BOE.

Propositions include $440,000 to spend for buses and $667,070 for Hoag Library. The library money is up 2.0 percent from the $654,000 in 2013-14.

Voting is from noon to 8 p.m. at the elementary school’s conference room A.

Holley

The 2014-15 operating budget is proposed at $25,070,000, a 9.11 percent increase over the 2013-14 budget of $2,093,571. The budget figure represents the addition of all-day kindergarten, four instructional staff positions and the elimination of short-term debt.

Other propositions include: establishing a $2.5 million capital reserve fund; reducing the size of the Board of Education from seven to five positions (If approved, it becomes effective, July 1, 2015); and raising $104,705 in taxes for the Community Free Library, which is up 2.0 percent from the $102,652 in 2013-14.

Three candidates are running for three positions, with the top two candidates getting three-year terms and other receiving a two-year term.

John Heise, the former BOE president, is running again after choosing not to a year ago. Other candidates include incumbents Robin Silvis and Salvatore DeLuca Jr. Another incumbent, Norman Knight, has opted not to seek re-election.

The vote will be from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Holley Middle School/High School foyer.

Kendall

Residents will vote on a budget from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the elementary school gymnasium. The $14,826,116 budget increases spending by 5.5 percent from $14,051,383.

The new budget doesn’t cut existing programs. It adds a student services coordinator and two special education teachers, one each at the elementary and high school levels.

The new budget follows one from 2013-14 that cut $1 million from property taxes. The 2014-15 budget will increase taxes by 1.36 percent. The tax levy will slightly rise in the new budget, from $4,606,613 to $4,669,245. That is about $110,000 below the district’s tax cap.

Voters will also weigh in on a proposition to spend up to $250,000 from the district’s school replacement reserve fund.

A new member will also be elected to the Board of Education. Lucille Welch has decided against seeking re-election after 10 years on the board. Chaley Swift is the lone candidate for the five-year term.

Lyndonville

The $13,188,750 budget increases spending by 0.72 percent, but doesn’t raise taxes.

The budget maintains existing programming for students. The budget also includes $100,000 in capital projects, including varsity gym lights, masonry upkeep and dock stairs and hand rails.

Residents will also spending money from a transportation reserve account, which includes $105,000 for a new bus and $38,000 for a new pickup with a plow.

Another proposition asks voters to approve creating a new capital reserve account that would have up to $2 million. The money can only be expended with voter approval.

The Yates Community Library is seeking voter permission for $84,637, a 2.59 percent increase.

Only one position is open on the Board of Education after voters last year approved shrinking the board by two seats. Incumbent Susan Hrovat is unopposed in seeking a three-year term.

Voting will be from 1 to 9 p.m. at the PEI Library.

Medina

The district is proposing a $34,479,994 budget that increases spending by 2 percent from $33,805,130. The budget does not increase taxes, keeping the tax levy at $9,044,280.

The budget maintains existing school and extracurricular programming, including modified sports.

Residents will be asked to approve a $200,000 proposition to buy one 66-seat bus and two 30-seat passenger buses.

There are five candidates seeking four positions on the Board of Education. The top three candidates will receive three-year terms while the candidate with the fourth most votes gets a one-year term. The one-year term will fill Rosalind Lind’s vacant position.

Three incumbents – Christopher Keller, William Keppler and David Sevenski – are seeking re-election. Other candidates include Renee Paser-Paull and former BOE member Virginia Nicholson.

The vote will be held from noon to 8 p.m. at the District Office board room next to Medina High School.