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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Initial budget plan has 3 percent spending increase

A $12.9 million budget for 2006-07 is proposed for the North Collins School District.

The proposal includes a $373,748 increase, or 3 percent, in spending, from the current $12.5 million budget. The budget calls for property owners in North Collins and Brant to pay $19.60 per $1,000 of assessed value, up 44 cents; Collins, $25.14, up $1.18; Concord, $36.99, up $1.50; Eden, $25.21, up $1.28; and Evans, $27.61, an increase of 99 cents.

Superintendent Ben Halsey blamed the increase on higher costs for fuel, utilities, health insurance and retirement.

The board will vote April 12 on a final draft to present to the district's voters.

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>Higgins' staff sets meetings in district

Members of Rep. Brian Higgins' staff will be available to answer questions from constituents at a series of meetings scheduled the first half of April.

The meetings are a continuation of the "Congress on Your Corner" program by the Buffalo Democrat.

Scheduled meetings, which all run from 10 a.m. to noon, will be: Tuesday, Marilla Town Hall, S-1740 Two Rod Road; next Thursday, Evans Town Hall, 8787 Erie Road; April 7, AIDS Community Services, 206 S. Elmwood Ave.; April 12, Lackawanna Senior Citizens Center, 230 Martin Road; April 13, Orchard Park Municipal Building, S-4295 S. Buffalo St.; and April 18, Collins Town Hall, 14093 Mill Road.

For further information, call 852-3501.

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