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FUNDS SET ASIDE FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS

It takes money to generate money, and that's what the Frontier Central School District hopes to do with funds set aside in this year's budget for capital improvements.

The district set aside $4 million in the 2000-2001 budget for capital improvements. It will receive a reimbursement from the state on 84 percent of the capital improvements made this year. If the district puts that money into capital improvements in next year's budget, it will be reimbursed the following year.

Using conservative guidelines, that $4 million investment could generate $13.1 million in capital improvements over the next eight years, said Richard A. Binner, assistant superintendent for business.

"As long as the district continues to respend the money, the state will reimburse the district," he said. "We need to stick to it. Once you don't spend it, it's gone."

Superintendent Gary R. Cooper said the 84 percent reimbursement rate includes the extra 10 percent incentive the state gave school districts this year. He said under some state aid proposals, the district's reimbursement rate could fall much lower to 74 percent. Binner said he used a conservative 64 percent reimbursement rate in calculating the $13.1 million return.

"This assumes we will continue to do aidable projects," Binner said.

Binner also gave the school district a report on the proposed budgets for buildings and grounds, debt service and transportation. The three areas represent about 20 percent of the expenditures, he said. The 2001-2002 budget proposed for the three areas is $10 million, up 3.9 percent.

"Please don't walk away from here thinking taxes are going up 3.9 percent. They aren't. There are expenditures in here that generate aid," Binner said.

Among the increases is money for 10 new transportation vehicles for after-school academic intervention programs at the four elementary schools.

Also Tuesday night, trustees and administrators wore pins with a photograph of Janet Gutekunst, a school bus driver who has been selected as the New York State United Teachers union's School Related Personnel Employee of the Year. She was chosen from 60,000 school-related personnel, and will be honored at the NYSUT convention later this year.

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