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Niskayuna, Middleburgh school budgets again up for vote

Initial spending plans defeated last month

Monday, June 17, 2013
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— Voters in the Niskayuna and Middleburgh school districts will head back to the polls today to consider trimmed-down budgets after initial spending plans were defeated last month.

In Niskayuna, voters will be asked to approve a budget that comes in under the state tax cap. The budget carries a tax levy increase of 3.95 percent.

The proposed budget is set at $75,693,201, or a 0.47 percent spending increase over the current 2012-13 budget.

The new budget proposal was needed after district voters last month soundly defeated the initial proposal that included a 5.76 percent tax levy increase. That budget was over the 4.66 percent tax cap for the district.

A simple majority of voters is needed to pass the budget at the second vote.

To get to the new budget number, the Niskayuna school board approved a budget that included $900,000 in spending cuts and new revenue.

The proposal would mean a home in Niskayuna valued at $250,000 would see a school tax bill increase of about $189.

District officials have been getting information about the second proposal out to the public. A second defeat would force the district to cut another $2 million as part of a state-mandated contingency budget.

Officials have called the contingency scenario dire, one that could return the district to half-day kindergarten, eliminate five elementary classes, reduce high school art and foreign language and eliminate all levels of athletics, among other cuts.

Polls are to open in Niskayuna at 7 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. Voting is to take place at Niskayuna High School.

middleburgh

In the Middleburgh Central School District, voters will consider a $20,189,789 budget proposal offering a reduced tax levy hike compared with the $20,277,789 spending plan rejected May 21.

The district's Board of Education whittled the initial 3.92-percent tax levy increase by cutting $88,000, leaving a 2.68 percent change in the levy, an increase of $235,297 in tax revenue.

The resultant spending increase proposed for the 2013-14 school year, compared with the current budget, is 0.02 percent, an increase of $39,308 in spending.

Cuts that followed the May vote include reductions in a maintenance position, combining a bus mechanic and bus driver position and elimination of an internal auditor.

A physical education position and literacy/reading specialist in addition to the equivalent of one teaching position were also cut.

Energy conservation contracts and the Athletics Department will also have to find cuts of $12,000 and $15,000, respectively.

Voting will take place from noon to 9 p.m. in the high school gymnasium lobby at 291 Main St.

 
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