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School budgets get Schenectady County voters' OK

School budgets get Schenectady County voters' OK

Voters in the Schenectady County towns passed school budgets and various propositions on Tuesday.

Voters in the Schenectady County towns passed school budgets and various propositions on Tuesday.

Scotia-Glenville

Scotia-Glenville district residents passed a $46.65 million budget and two building propositions totaling $11.9 million.

“I feel relieved and I am incredibly grateful to our community and our families for supporting us,” said Superintendent Susan Swartz.

The budget, which passed with a vote of 1,253 yes to 785 no, reflected an increase of 1.73 percent from this year’s spending plan. However, the district is using federal stimulus money to offset that increase. The tax rate will be set later this year but the average homeowner with a house assessed at $160,000 would pay about $3,211 in taxes before any STAR reductions — down $21 from this year.

Residents voted 1,119 yes to 902 no in favor of a capital project that included replacing school roofs, replacing the deteriorated six-lane track and upgrading the district’s technology server. It also voted 1,037 to 960 in favor of a project to enclose and renovate the middle school library.

Swartz said the next step is to start the design process with the architect and get approval from the state Education Department. She said that process could take anywhere from eight to 12 weeks. Swartz said the plan is to complete the work over two summers, but she did not know if it could be ready in time to start this year.

This is a scaled-down version of a project voters had rejected last December.

Residents also voted 1,227 yes to 787 no to purchase five 65-passenger school buses at a cost of $475,000. They re-elected current board Vice President Gary Normington and John Yagielski, who were running for their second three-year terms.

Niskayuna

Niskayuna district voters both approved the $74.5 million budget and returned two incumbent school board members to the board.

Voters approved the budget by a vote of 1,614 to 1,020, according to district numbers.

The 2009-10 Niskayuna school budget is expected to increase the tax levy 2.45 percent, the lowest increase in six years.

A bus proposition was also approved by a vote of 1,623 to 986.

Incumbent board members Barbara Mauro and Robert Winchester each won re-election, with 1,670 and 1,598 votes respectively. Challenger Richard Fisher received 973 votes for third.

Schalmont

In the Schalmont Central School District, voters approved the $42.3 million budget by a margin of 680 to 414. The budget will not increase the school tax levy and represents a 1.87 percent increase over last year’s spending plan.

“The board and I are very grateful for all of the people who took the time to come out and vote,” Superintendent Valerie Kelsey said in a statement. “The result was very positive for education in this district.”

Incumbent Albert Falcone and newcomer Gregory Campoli were both elected to three-year terms on Schalmont’s Board of Education. Campoli, who replaces three-term member Denise Pendt, secured 753 votes, while Falcone received 764 votes.

Duanesburg

Voters in Duanesburg approved their district’s $14.8 million budget 553 to 254. The budget carries a 1.67 percent boost in school taxes, the lowest increase over the past decade.

District residents also approved a $301,698 proposition to purchase five school buses. Voters approved the measure 507 to 273.

Capital Region BOCES teacher Christina Loukides, Schoharie River Center executive director John McKeeby and incumbent Bridget Holmes, an adjunct instructor at the College of Saint Rose, were elected to the district’s Board of Education. Holmes was the top vote-getter with 555.

Mohonasen

Mohonasen Central School District’s budget received resounding approval by district residents, who passed the $42.3 million spending measure by a vote of 1,016 to 536. The spending plan increases spending by $448,079 over this year’s budget and will result in a 0.59 percent tax increase.

District voters also approved a bus proposition. The district will purchase five 66-passenger buses, two 22-passenger wheelchair-accessible buses and two eight-passenger Suburbans.

Incumbents Eileen French and Gary Spardo were both re-elected to the district’s school board. Newcomer Tom Andriola also won a seat on the board.

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