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AuSable Valley adopts school spending plan

AuSable Valley Superintendent Paul Savage addresses the board and visitors during the March 21 monthly meeting.

AuSable Valley Superintendent Paul Savage addresses the board and visitors during the March 21 monthly meeting. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— The AuSable Valley Central School Board left breathing room in the 2012-13 spending plan it adopted for the May 15 vote.

The budget, approved unanimously during the board’s April 18 meeting, called for a $271,251 increase to the tax levy, up from $11,793,511 in 2011-12 to $12,064,762 in the proposed plan.

That represents a 2.30-percent raise, well below the state threshold of 2.49-percent that the school could have gone to.

“I was very serious at our last meeting when I said we were going to come in below our threshold number, and I meant it,” Superintendent Paul Savage said. “I am very confident that we have done a good job to balance the needs of the school and the needs of the taxpayers, and I want to commend business manager Scott Brow and our board for all of their hard work during this tremendous undertaking.”

The budget increased 1.33-percent, from $27,934,707 in the 2011-12 budget to $28,305,558 proposed for 2012-13, a difference of $370,851.

“We hope that what we have done is an increase that is manageable for the taxpayers,” Savage said. “We know that there are people out there who are struggling, but we hope that this will be something that can be managed.”

Savaged said that AVCS had the second lowest tax rate (which will increase from $15.68 per $1,000 assessed property value to $16.04 on average) among the area’s big schools.

“We have worked hard to keep the budget down,” Savage said, using last year’s budget process that led to the elimination of about 19 positions as an example.

“Last year’s cuts gave us a new point to start at, and we have to work from there,” he said.

Savage also pointed to the pair of new wood-chip boilers at the Keeseville Elementary School and AuSable Valley Middle/High School as an important part of budget savings.

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