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Keene proposes 'bare bones' budget

KEENE VALLEY The Keene Central School Board of education has put together a "bare bones" proposed budget for the 2007-2008 school year. "We've cut everything very close to our spending in order to give taxpayers a little tax relief," said Keene Superintendent Cynthia Johnston. The proposed budget of $4,816,436 is up 2.45 percent from 2006-2007's adopted budget of $4,701,320. Johnston said that the increase reflected changes in salaries and health benefits. The budget does not cut any school programs. "I think it's a good, solid budget for both the school district and tax payers," said Johnston. If adopted, the budget would require a $4,022,957 tax levy, or amount to be collected by taxes. That amount is a 1.43 percent increase from the 2006-2007 budget. Based on the 2006-07 assessments, the proposed budget would result in a tax rate of $9.86 per $1,000 of assessed value. Johnston noted that Keene's proposed budget, which was approved before the state budget was passed, did not anticipate a $125,765 increase in state aid. Johnston said the increase in state aid would be reflected in the tax levy. Voters will also elect two school board representatives. James Marlatt is seeking another term, while Ann Whitney is seeking to fill a vacant seek left by the expiration of the term of John Fehlner. Both are running unopposed. The budget hearing will take place on Tuesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. The vote is scheduled for Tuesday, May 15 from noon-8 p.m. in the KCS Commons There will be a formal art show opening that evening 6-8 p.m.

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