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CLEVELAND HILL SCHOOL TAX HIKE REDUCED

Cleveland Hill School District officials Wednesday night presented their revised $21 million budget proposal for 2003-04, which shaves 2.5 percent off the original projected tax rate increase.

The first budget adopted in April -- before the State Legislature restored about $500,000 in aid -- would have hiked taxes by nearly 8 percent.

Officials will use half the restored aid to help lower the projected tax levy. Under the new spending plan, adopted May 7, the tax rate would rise by 4.95 percent, or $1.76 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, bringing the tax rate to $37.17.

That would mean residents who own a home at the average assessment of $60,000 would pay $105 more a year, according to officials.

The School Board decided to use half the restored aid -- $250,000 to reinstate programs cut from the original budget proposal, including a librarian, nurse and computer technician.

The revised budget proposal, which reflects a spending increase from the current budget of 1.5 percent, goes before voters June 3.

Bike ride for lupus to be held June 14

The Lupus Alliance of America's Western New York Affiliate will hold its third annual Loop for Lupus Bike Ride on June 14, starting and finishing at Beaver Island State Park on Grand Island. More than 200 riders are expected to take parkway rides of 3.5, 10, 22, 44 or 66 miles. Participants will enjoy music and lunch at a post-ride party.

Information and registration are available from the major sponsors or by calling the Lupus Alliance at 835-7161 or toll-free at (800) 300-4198 or by visiting the Web site at www.lupuswny.org. Those who preregister by May 30 will save $10.

Major sponsors include Adelphia, Bert's Bikes & Fitness, Clover Management, Key Bank and WIVB-TV. Proceeds from the ride will be used for research, education and support for Western New York lupus patients and their families.

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