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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Proposed budget includes 4.69% spending increase

The Williamsville Central School District is working on a preliminary budget for 2006-07 that would increase spending by 4.69 percent over the current year's figure.

The proposed $139.4 million budget -- an increase of about $6.25 million -- was discussed during a work session after Tuesday evening's meeting of the School Board.

School Superintendent Howard S. Smith told board members the proposal "maintains our current instructional programs and provides for program enhancements in certain areas."

Under the proposal, the owner of a home assessed at $100,000 would pay up to $43 more in taxes next year.

The increased expenditures were broken down as follows:

* General operations, up about $1.5 million, to a total of $17.2 million next year.

* Instruction, up $3.3 million, to $84.25 million.

* Transportation, up $381,000, to $7.5 million.

* Employee benefits, up $1 million, to $25.3 million.

* Debt payments would again total $5.14 million next year. Smith said his staff estimates that about 19 percent of the district's revenues will come from the state, not including STAR property tax subsidies.

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>Barbara Peters named school superintendent

Assistant Superintendent Barbara Peters was officially hired Tuesday as superintendent of the Tonawanda City School District with the School Board's unanimous approval amid glowing praise.

She will succeed George Batterson in September when he retires.

"It was a very interesting process," Peters, who began working for the district in 2002, said of negotiating her new contract, a three-year deal that starts at $130,000 a year.

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