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NIAGARA-WHEATFIELD PRUNES BUDGET PLAN

The Niagara-Wheatfield School Board Wednesday approved a revised budget that will be submitted to voters Aug. 14.

The $28,633,307 proposal represents the second budget package voters were given this year. In May, a $28.89 million budget was turned down.

The revised budget includes about $260,000 in cuts and reflects an average property tax rate hike of about 5.1 percent. The rejected budget carried an 8 percent increase.

Following a presentation by members of the Town of Niagara Taxpayers Association, the board directed Schools Superintendent Joel Radin to make $35,000 in cuts in addition to those he had recommended.

Radin had suggested $25,000 could be subtracted from insurance premiums while $200,000 could be trimmed from the district's contribution to the teachers retirement fund because of action by the State Legislature.

Radin did not say where the new cuts would be made but the board was adamant in protecting instructional programs.

The taxpayers group had asked the board to reduce the budget by $406,800 by making the same cuts Radin had recommended and by eliminating return payments to the district fund balance, which is kept to cover emergency costs.

The board also approved a contingency budget of $28,463,146 to operate the district until the vote. Polls are scheduled to be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Senior High School.

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