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School board seeking fixed fuel price to save taxpayers' cash

Their preliminary cost-cutting proposals, which now total an estimated over $300,000, include unplugging a cable television in the school district bus garage, removing pay phones from the schools - or negotiating to obtain them for free - and reducing frequency of trash pickup.

Also under consideration is outsourcing mass-mailings, which is estimated to save over $10,000 per year.

Warrensburg School District Business Manager Kevin Polunci has advised board members that State Aid would likely decrease $356,847 for the 2009-10 school year from its present $19.5 million spending plan.

Board members have talked in recent weeks of cutting costs up to 10 percent - or maintain a zero local property tax increase, and they've suggested reopening the teacher's union contract to reduce pending pay increases or shift a percentage of the rising cost of benefits to the teachers.

Instructional costs are now $10.5 million annually in the school district.

Tax savings of personnel cost reductions would likely be a hefty amount, negotiations with the Warrensburg Teachers Association to reopen the contract are still pending.

The board's budget committee has expressed its intent to cut unnecessary costs while maintaining core academics, and citizens sitting through the two-hour meeting Monday said they were pleased the board was not talking of cutting programs but were instead examining non-academic budget items for potential cuts.

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