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PLAN TO TRIM SCHOOL SPENDING OUTLINED; LOCKPORT BOARD APPRISED OF DECREASES IN 13 AREAS

An anticipated $333,421 cut in state aid for the current school year because of the state's fiscal woes dominated discussion at Monday's Lockport School Board meeting.

Superintendent Kevin J. Colpoys presented a plan to decrease spending in 13 areas, with cuts ranging from $162,000 in personnel services, staff and substitute teacher services to $2,000 for the use of facilities, except on scheduled free nights.

"It's important to adopt a game plan -- a framework. People need to know that we really aren't going to do some of those things we planned to do this year," Colpoys told the board.

He said he could not give specific dollar amounts since some shifts in spending, such as for supplies and equipment, will be determined by building principals and staff.

Other cutbacks, such as $13,000 in funding for secondary school athletic programs and $20,000 for staff development, will hinge on decisions by the administrators involved. "In planning for this, I'm going along with the governor's prediction of a 1.8 percent reduction. We're being asked for a $55-per-pupil reduction," Colpoys said.

Some board members and two persons in the small audience complained about the proposed cuts, especially coming at the midpoint in the school year when some items, such as supplies and textbooks, have already been purchased.

They also expressed disappointment that some planned projects likely will be sidetracked.

When the board was asked later to contract for the appointment of Habiterra Associates of Jamestown to design and develop the $3.5 million Lockport Public Library project, Trustee Mary Albright objected that the Library Board has enough capital improvement funds to pay the "upfront money" to the architectural firm.

An amendment to the resolution said that the library, not the school district, should advance the partial fee until bonds for the project are sold.

In other business, the board:

Accepted with regret the resignation of veteran Trustee Donald Cescon who is being transferred to Pittsburgh. The board presented him a plaque.

Was told that the new environmental program at DeWitt Clinton Elementary School has been a success.

Awarded contracts totaling $515,409 to low bidders, including chimney replacement and a stage ceiling at John Pound Elementary School, $49,800, to Gerald T. Stay Co. of Buffalo; Lockport High School roofing, $445,000, to All Weather Contracting Co. of Buffalo; a freezer, $14,619, to Buffalo Hotel Supply Co., and related electrical work, to T .H. Green Electric Co., West Seneca.

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