Hague defeats Ti budget

TICONDEROGA - The Ticonderoga Central School board of education will try again to gain voter approval for a 2010-11 budget.

The proposed $18.3 million spending plan was defeated by a 521-421 count May 18.

Voters in Ticonderoga actually supported the budget by 19 votes, but Hague residents rejected it by 119 votes.

The proposed 2010-11 budget totaled $18,353,991. That's a 7.21 percent increase from the current spending plan of $17,119,120.

Much of that increase - 6 percent - was attributed to the on-going $23.8 million building and renovation project approved by voters in 2007.

The amount to be raised by taxes in the proposed budget was $9,740,039. That's a 6.5 percent increase from the current tax levy of $9,145,204. The building project accounts for 3 percent of that increase.

Superintendent John McDonald said the Ti board has decided to revise the rejected budget and again ask for voter approval.

"We're going to have to make some cuts," McDonald said. "We have some searching to do. We'll have to go line-by-line and find ways to reduce the budget."

The revised budget was adopted by the school board May 25, after the Times of Ti deadline.

A public hearing on the revised budget has been scheduled for June 8 and the re-vote will be Tuesday, June 15, noon to 8 p.m. at the Hague Community Center and at Ticonderoga High School.

If the budget is again rejected, law requires the district to go directly to a contingency budget, a level set by the state that limits spending.

The superintendent said a contingency budget would mean $260,000 in cuts.

"A contingency budget would be devastating to the district," McDonald said.

It's been a difficult budget year, McDonald said.

The district is scheduled to receive a $435,000 cut in state aid in 2010-11 and debt service on the building project increases by $290,418. That means the district faced a $725,418 deficit without addressing any other increased costs.

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