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Keene CS adopts budget for vote

Members of the Keene Central School Board of Education adopted a budget at its March 20 meeting.

Members of the Keene Central School Board of Education adopted a budget at its March 20 meeting. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Barring any unforeseen changes to the New York State budget, Keene Central School has its spending plan in place.

The KCS board of education voted to adopt a proposed 2012-13 budget to present to the public for vote in May during its March 20 meeting, which would raise the tax levy by 1.68 percent, which happens to be the tax cap for the district.

“We were able to maintain all of the programs that we have currently. We just can’t add anything,” Superintendent Cynthia Ford-Johnston said. “We have paired back and juggled some things, which allowed us to meet the number.”

Keene is one of the fewer school districts to be hurt by the state’s tax cap formula, which starts with a 2 percent baseline and then calculates exemptions and other conditions before coming up with a final number.

“It’s something that we are used to,” Johnston said. “We have never had a lot of state aid and actually are getting a cut, but we know how to deal with it.”

The spending plan calls for an increase of $111,973 in 2012-13, up from $5,342,124 in 2011-12 to $5,230,151, or an increase of 2.14 percent.

The tax levy will increase from $4,396,000 in 2011-12 to $4,469,927 under the proposed plan, an increase of $79,927, or 1.68 percent.

Johnston also said that the school is looking down the road to keep their fiscal plan sound.

“We have forecast for a number of years out and we have an adequate reserve,” Johnston said. “Everyone in the process has been very good for the last few years and worked together to meet the needs of the students and the taxpayers.”

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