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CHEEKTOWAGA SCHOOLS WEATHER FISCAL STORM

Cheektowaga Central Schools should weather this year's fiscal storm in good shape, but next year could be a problem, School Board members learned Monday night.

The Cheektowaga Central School District could lose close to $200,000 in state aid, if New York State goes through with its cost-cutting measures this year.

"We are in relatively decent shape, if need be," said Dr. Leslie B. Lewis, school superintendent. "I'm afraid of what the impact will be next year."

As a precautionary measure, the board authorized the superintendent to review all district expenditures.

Trustee Leon S. Regent asked if the school district should consider a spending freeze. Lewis said the district does not need to go into the "panic stage" yet and should be able to avoid cutting programs. He said there are places in the budget where administrators can save money.

"We planned for this," Lewis said. "We planned with next year in mind."

Lewis said he was upset that the state could not have predicted its fiscal problems earlier.

"It's our budget that's voted on. It's our budget that people will take their frustrations out on," he said.

"It's very nice for (Gov.) Cuomo to sit up there and pontificate," Regent said.

In the "family" of New York State, school districts are becoming the poor relatives, added James F. Mietlicki, board president.

In other action, the board awarded a contract for refuse collection to Modern Disposal Services of Lewiston for $10,500. Six bids were received for the one-year contract, and Modern Disposal's bid was $57 lower than the next closest bid.

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