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School budget up 2.2 percent

BOLTON LANDING - According to a spending plan endorsed recently, Bolton Central School District's expenditures will be increasing 2.2 percent for the 2009-2010 school year - if approved by local voters May 19.

The newly drafted budget calls for expenditures of $8.19 million, an increase of $177,000 or 2.21 percent up from the present year, according to Bolton Central School District Business Manager Kathleen Dennin.

The projected increase to the tax levy, however, is expected to be 2.49 percent, and the tax rate is expected to go up 1.99 percent, she said. The difference between the latter two figures may be due to increased state aid, expanded tax base and increases in assessments, she said.

The increase would be higher if it weren't for personnel reductions, Dennin said.

Two fourth grade teachers - Anne Greene and MaryAnn Ross - are retiring, and are not being replaced. Faculty will be realigned to accommodate the staffing reduction, Superintendent Ray Ciccarelli said.

The realignment includes special education instructors working in various classrooms rather than being assigned strictly to one level, he said.

Meanwhile, most of Bolton's teachers are receiving a 3.99 percent salary increase, except for those teachers in the upper salary tiers which are receiving a $1,500 flat increase, Ciccarelli said.

Also, the school district is downsizing its bus fleet, trading in three aging busses - all having logged more than 100,000 miles - toward one new 59-passenger bus.

The trade-in should cut the $96,000 cost of the new bus by nearly one-half, he said.

Also, the district plans on purchasing two 9-passenger vans as an inexpensive alternative to the busses being traded in. The shift was possible because of a reduced number of Bolton students attending BOCES programs, Ciccarelli said. Overall, transportation costs will increase $38,000, but lower fuel, repair and maintenance costs are anticipated going forward, he said.

A vote on the budget and a slate of school board members will be held from noon to 8 p.m. May 19 in the school gymnasium lobby, District Clerk Angie Smack said.

Six candidates are running for three open board seats, subject to three-year terms. The three top vote-getters will join the board, she said.

Incumbents Dr. L. Paul Rice and Richard Sammis are seeking re-election, but incumbent Cheryl Snyder is retiring from the board. Also seeking the seats are four newcomers: Kathleen Pfau and Laura Baker of Bolton, and Pamela Quigan and and Dennis Murphy of Diamond Point.

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