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Schools unveil 2009-10 budget plans

Keene

The spending plan for Keene Central School district is proposed at $5,176,616 for 2009-2010, an increase of $57,464 or 1.12 percent over the current year.

The tax levy will increase by $31,436, or 0.75 percent. Meanwhile, the projected enrollment for next year is expected to increase by approximately three percent.

"We know that maintaining the program of the district is a top priority," said superintendent Cynthia Ford-Johnston, "but also maintaining our current levels of spending." She said retirements and shifts in staffing contributed to the minimal increase.

The annual public hearing for the school budget is scheduled for May 12 at 7 p.m. Voting on the budget will take place May 19.

Westport

Westport Central School's proposed budget includes a spending plan of $5,074,606. That represents an 1.89 percent increase of $94,365.

Coupled with just a $4,984 increase in anticipated revenue, the tax levy will bear most of the burden with an increase of $89,381 projected. That's 3.20 percent more than the current budget. Enrollment levels are expected to remain stable.

"It was extremely difficult to bring it down to the level we finally got it down to," said interim superintendent John Gallagher, noting a sharp reduction in state aid. "We trimmed this budget without trimming any programs."

A public budget hearing was held May 7. Voting on the budget is scheduled from noon to 9 p.m. on May 19.

Willsboro

The 2009-2010 proposed budget for Willsboro totals $7,969,502 in spending, a 2.99 percent increase of $231,062. Despite the increase in spending, the tax levy is projected to decrease slightly by 0.06 percent.

"The district worked hard to maintain district costs while maintaining quality educational opportunities for student achievement," said superintendent Steve Broadwell. "Proposed is a reduction of one-half a music position and, based on current increasing enrollment, expanding our pre-kindergarten to two sections with the additional federal stimulus money allocated to our district for job retention."

A public hearing for the budget is scheduled at 7 p.m. on May 12. Voting will take place on May 19 from noon to 8 p.m.

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