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BOARD APPROVES BUDGET WITH SLIGHT TAX HIKE

The Pioneer School Board has approved a $38.1 million budget for 2005-06 that calls for an estimated tax rate increase of 0.7 percent, or 10 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

The annual district budget vote and board election will be held May 17 in the high school. A budget hearing is set for 7 p.m. May 3, also in the high school.

The board approved the spending plan last week.

The budget represents a spending increase of 5.7 percent from the current year's budget. Administrators were helped by $470,000 in additional state aid, which was included in the first on-time Albany budget in 20 years, school officials said Monday.

The budget features no reductions in staff and a net increase of 5 1/2 new positions.

District residents will elect two members to five-year terms on the board.

The board has also approved participating in a proposed $10 million capital project for Cattaraugus-Allegany Board of Cooperative Educational Services. The action came after trustees rescinded their April 5 vote, which ended up in a 4-4 deadlock.

Pioneer's share of the BOCES project will be $1.4 million. The district is exploring funding options and is eligible for state aid reimbursement. The proposal included roof and structural repair to three main BOCES buildings.

All 22 component districts of the BOCES had to approve participation in the plan by April 15 for it to move forward.

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