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$1.4 MILLION PARED FROM SCHOOL PLAN

The latest draft of the North Tonawanda School District's 1989-90 budget reflects an 8.1 percent increase over this year and tax rate increases of 5.4 percent per $,1000 of assessed valuation for homestead, or residential properties, and 14.96 percent for non-homestead, or commercial properties.

Superintendent Michael S. Pavlovich Thursday night presented the School Board a $33,561,677 version of next year's spending package, which is $1.4 million less than the initial proposal. Further cuts are expected before a tentative budget is adopted June 8. A public hearing has been scheduled for June 22.

The tax picture has been complicated somewhat, however, because of an option open to the North Tonawanda Common Council that allows it to adjust the the proportion of homestead levies to non-homestead by 25 percent. If the Council exercises that option, school taxes would increase 9.47 percent for homestead properties and 8.57 percent for non-homestead.

The board informally agreed to ask the city what its intentions are. Pavlovich said a change in the ratio between the two classes of property also would affect the next city budget in February.

The board's budget committee will be meet next week to go over several additional requests, including staff, supplies and new uniforms for the high school marching band. Pavlovich said that "a good case can be made for every item" on the list.

Earlier, teacher representatives addressed the board about concerns over cuts in staff and programs.

Board member Stephen Lampkin said he was "not in favor of staff cuts if they mean increases in class size."

In other business, the board once again delayed making a decision on whether to accept some $1.1 million in bids for reconstruction of the district's bus garage. Board member Frank Serio later said that board members planned to meet today to discuss the project, but added that he thought the garage issue was a "white elephant" and was "going to go down."

The board also agreed to talk further with the city about plans for a new Little League baseball and softball complex on Walck Road. The district has some 16 acres available, which could be added to city property. The new site is needed because of plans to build a co-generation plant on the Erie Avenue land now occupied by Ramsay Field.

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