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Warrensburg budget vote scheduled

WARRENSBURG The proposed 2007-08 Warrensburg school budget reflects work not only by the school board, but input from community members and staff. The total amount for the proposed budget for 2007-2008 is $18,868,372, an increase of just over $950,000. The amount to be raised by taxes is $7,409,960. Voting is on Tuesday, May 15, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the elementary school gym. This holds the increase to 5.3 percent, said Warrensburg School Superintendent Timothy Lawson. The tax levy is reduced by one-quarter of one percent. He said that this is the sixth year in a a row that the tax rate will be lower. Six years ago it was about $23 per $1,000 of value, and this year, we estimate it will be $15.23 per $1,000, he said. Higher value of the district and using the surplus money are what Lawson said are factors in the lower tax rate. Lawson said that the district is using $384,000 from general fund surplus to help keep increases in check. Typically this would be used for a one-time purchase, like student management system improvements, band uniforms, that type of thing, he said. He also pointed out that the Warrensburg Fire Department donated $4,000 to the school for new band uniforms. The total for the uniforms is $14,534, so now the districts amount is down to $10,534, he said. The instructional component of the budget increased by 9 percent, but Lawson pointed out that this does not necessarily reflect just teachers salaries. There has been a realignment of expenditures, he said. The instructional component contains quite a few other things than just teachers, sports, transportation and employee benefits go into that component. Lawson said that the district has added one new certified social worker and decreased one English teacher and one special education teacher. The ballot will also have a separate proposition for two 66-passenger busses, with different price tags. Thats because the trade in is lower on one, Lawson said. One bus costs $88,565 and the other is $85,752, but after five years, state aid will pay about 90 percent of that cost, making the total cost to taxpayers just over $17,000. This is an unusual year for school board seats, with Board President Mark Brown leaving the board after 20 years of service and Victoria Robinson after 10 years. Dean Moore and Thomas Drane are running for Browns seat and Diane Angell and Richelene Morey are running for Robinsons seat. There will be two nights to meet the candidates, moderated by Journal Editor Nancy OBrien. On May 7, they will be in Thurman at the town hall after the budget presentation at 7 p.m. and on May 14 at the Warrensburg Junior/Senior High School after the budget presentation at 7 p.m.

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