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Teachers bear school budget burdens

Voting on the budget will take place May 18 from 2-9 p.m. with polling places at the Wilmington Town Hall and Lake Placid Elementary School.

Saranac Lake

Concessions by faculty and staff played a big role in the Saranac Lake Central School District as well. There, the tax levy will rise 2.95 percent to $17,944,584 under the proposed 2010-2011 budget. Overall expenditures are set to increase $283,879 to a little more than $27 million, a 1.06 percent rise.

"We did have some salary concessions from union membership recently that helped us get down to that tax levy," said the school's assistant superintendent for business, Dan Bower.

Teachers and administrators belonging to unions agreed to give up more than half of their planned 3.95 percent raises for the coming year, settling instead for a 1.95 percent raise. The result is a $280,000 savings for the district, Bower said. No changes to agreements with CSEA employees have taken place, however.

Bower said the tax levy increase was primarily a result of the reduction in state aid, a $805,000 hit to the district. While the district has kept its levy at a zero increase the past two years, he added, the loss of that aid caused the need for some increase.

Still, the district is proud that it was able to limit that increase, Bower said, "and still offer the same level of education to the students."

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for May 11, 7 p.m. in the Petrova School Library. Polls will be open 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. May 18 in the high school auditorium.

Elizabethtown

Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School District, for better or worse, is the only district in the region proposing a budget that aims for a zero-percent increase in the tax levy.

As it stands, the district is set to lose $391,338 in state aid. The proposed 2010-2011 budget would at least partially counteract that with a $95,032 decrease in expenditures from last year's $7.6 million budget, a 1.25 percent decrease.

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