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State aid shrinks Kendall school tax increase

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 May 2014 at 12:00 am

KENDALL – A boost in state aid is allowing Kendall Central School to narrow a tax increase. Kendall school officials were looking at a 1.9 percent hike but that was trimmed to 1.36 percent in the budget that goes before voters on May 20.

Kendall school officials cut taxes by $1 million in the 2013-14 budget, reducing the tax levy from $5.6 million to $4.6 million. The average tax rate fell from $21.51 to $17.45 per $1,000 of assessed property.

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.

The overall budget increases spending by 5.5 percent from $14,051,383 to $14,826,116. 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.

School officials will have a budget presentation at 7 p.m. on May 7 at the Junior-Senior High School Commons. The vote will be from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on May 20 at the elementary school gym.

District residents last year approved a $25 million capitol project. The district has submitted the design specifications and other documents to the state Education Department and is waiting on SED approval, said Julie Christensen, district superintendent.

She expects the state will give approval to the project this summer and bids will go out in the fall. Some work could start in the winter, such as construction of a more secure entrance at the school.

The bulk of the work will likely be in the summer 2015, “when there will be major renovations at both buildings,” Christensen said.