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School Board to seek OK of $10.6 million for rehab plan

The Williamsville Central School Board voted Tuesday evening to place a $10,559,954 buildings improvement plan on the ballot for the May 16 election.

Heating, ventilation and other improvements would be made to all school buildings in the district, with the state reimbursing 66 percent of the cost. The district's usual reimbursement rate is 19 percent, according to Thomas R. Maturski, assistant superintendent for finance.

The ballot will also contain a proposition to replace eight school buses at a cost of up to $560,000.

During a work session before the special meeting, board members expressed a consensus on a new budget-reduction plan presented by Superintendent Howard S. Smith. The plan calls for increasing spending next year by 4.47 percent instead of the 4.69 percent previously proposed. The tax rate would be $19.64 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The spending reduction would result from savings of $295,800 in light of the recent decision of several teachers to retire. Smith said they will be replaced by younger teachers at lower salaries.

Under Smith's spending plan, the owner of a house assessed at $100,000 would pay $12 more next year. The previous plan would have raised the tax by $16.

Smith said other factors will contribute to a smaller spending plan:

* State aid is expected to increase by $300,000.

* Sales tax revenue is projected to rise $200,000.

* Interest revenue is also expected to rise $200,000.

In addition, property assessments are projected to increase by about 5 percent next year. This could bring the tax rate down to $19.49 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, Smith said, and bring the tax on a $100,000 home down to just $2 more next year.

The spending plan will be voted on during the April 11 School Board meeting.

e-mail: acardinale@buffnews.com

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