Voters decide fate of school budgets, propositions today

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 May 2016 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – The walkway to the Albion Middle School is pictured Monday evening while the trees are in bloom in front a Vietnam Memorial.

Voters will go the polls today at the five school districts in Orleans County to decide whether to pass budgets, propositions and elect members to the Board of Education.

Here is a snapshot of each school district:

ALBION – The proposed $33,890,990 school budget keeps taxes at the same amount, $8,355,939, as the 2015-16 budget. The district’s tax rate for the current school year, $16.06 per $1,000 of assessed property, is the lowest of all districts in Orleans, Genesee, Niagara and Monroe counties. The Albion rate is estimated to fall to $15.87 in 2016-17, school officials said.

Other propositions include:

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

Approval to collect $687,211 for Hoag Library, which is up 1 percent from the $680,411 for 2015-16.
Choosing one of four candidates for a five-year term on the Board of Education. The candidates include Dylan Hellems, Steven LaLonde, Kevin Doherty and Anitrice Riley.

Voting will be from noon to 8 p.m. at the elementary school, conference room A.

HOLLEY – The proposed $24.4 million budget for 2016-17 includes a 1.99 percent increase in the tax levy. The budget is 4.73 percent higher than the current year budget. The nearly 5 percent budget-to-budget increase is due to the district’s share of the Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Capital Project, school officials said.

The proposed budget maintains current staffing and programs, and brings the average tax rate to approximately $22.81 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Besides the budget, voters will decide the following: Proposition 2 for the purchase of schools buses – two full-sized and two 30-passenger school buses not to exceed $339,000; Proposition 3 is the budget for the Community Free Library in Holley of $116,061.

Additionally, three candidates are running for two 3-year term seats on the School Board. John Heise and Brenda Swanger are running for re-election, and Christine Klafehn is also running for an open seat.

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

KENDALL – The proposed budget increases spending from $15,065,842 to $17,392,234, predominantly due to the debt incurred with the recent capital improvement project. The budget-to-budget increase, however, is completely offset by an increase in state aid from $9,884,890 to $11,855,939, school officials said.

The proposed tax levy remains unchanged in the 2016/17 budget, and the tax rate will be $17.39/$1,000 assessed value for a Kendall resident.

One seat on the School Board of Education is up for election this year. Incumbent Charles Patt is seeking another term. Debra Szczepanski is also seeking a term on the Board. The five-year term will run through June 30, 2021.

Voting is from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Kendall Elementary School Gymnasium.

LYNDONVILLE – The school district is proposing a budget that will reduce taxes by 3.4 percent, continuing a downward trend in the tax burden.

The district is proposing a budget that seeks a tax levy of $4,266,578, which is down from $4,416,578 in 2015-16. The previous year, 2014-15, the district’s tax levy was $4,666,578. Lyndonville has reduced the tax levy by $400,000 in two years, a drop of 8.6 percent.

The district’s $13,254,000 budget is nearly the same in expenditures as in 2015-16. The 2016-17 budget is $108 more than the $13,253,892 in 2015-16.

Other propositions include:

$91,589 for Yates Community Library (up from $90,653).
Establish 2016 Transportation Reserve Fund to fund bus and vehicle purchases, not to exceed $720,000 over 8 years.

Authorization to purchase one 66-passenger school bus at a maximum estimated cost of $110,000. School officials say the bus proposition and Transportation Reserve Fund will not have an impact on the tax levy.

Three incumbents on the Board of Education are all running unopposed for three-year terms. They include Harold Suhr, Terry Stinson and Rick Mufford.

Voting will be from noon to 8 p.m. at the Stroyan Auditorium forum.

MEDINA – The school district’s budget for 2016-17 reduces taxes for the fourth straight year. The $35,825,184 budget is up about $1 million from the $34,802,870 in 2015-16.

The state has boosted aid by nearly $900,000 and Medina is tapping some of its reserve funds to lower taxes in 2016-17, school officials said.

The new state budget boosts aid to Medina from $23,769,997 to $24,860,152. That increase is a big factor in Medina’s ability to cut taxes by 1.3 percent, from $8,774,760 to $8,660,915.

The budget keeps all existing programs and also boosts the gifted and talented offerings.

There are six people running for three three-year terms, including incumbents Lori Draper and Wendi Pencille. Retired Medina school administrator Alberta Suozzi also is running for the board along with Timothy Dunham, Virginia Nicholson and Brenda Lindsay. (Draper and Pencille are seeking re-election and John McCarthy opted against seeking another term.)

Voting will be from noon to 8 p.m. at the District Office.