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Local News

May 22, 2013

Area school budgets get voters' OK

With schools in the area proposing budgets at or below the state tax cap, all districts reporting by 10 p.m. said voters approved their spending plans.

Voters across the state went to the polls Tuesday to decide on the 2013-14 budget for each school. There was also balloting for propositions and seats on the board of education at many districts.

Last year two budgets defeated were defeated in the first vote, Unadilla Valley and Cobleskill-Richmondville Central schools, where proposals were greater than the tax cap, requiring a 60 percent majority.

Both were later passed when reduced on re-vote. Otherwise, a simple majority is required.

Statewide, schools proposed an average tax levy increase of 2.8 percent, according to the New York State School Boards Association.

At Oneonta City School District where the proposed budget required a tax levy increase of 2.7-percent, the budget passed 494-194 on Tuesday.

Interim Superintendent Dave Rowley said: “We are always grateful for the support of the public.”

Although the budget process required staffing cuts of 15.3 positions to close a budget gap that at one point totaled more than $1 million, “the open process helped,” he said.

At Unatego Central School, where the board took a number of steps to close its budget deficit, the budget passed 196-82.

Unatego business manager Nicholas Rosas said the vote showed “outstanding” community support.

At Delaware Academy Central School the budget calls for a 2-percent tax levy hike. Voters approved it 317-84.

Superintendent Jason Thomson said it was “a resounding vote of confidence,” in the direction of the school.

“It makes me confident we are doing the right thing,” he said.

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