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Lockport ready to adopt school budget with 2 percent tax increase

LOCKPORT – The Lockport Board of Education is ready to adopt a 2015-16 school budget with a property tax levy increase of 2.03 percent, right at the district’s tax cap.

The board seemed to reach a consensus Wednesday on spending $90.87 million, an increase of 5.25 percent or about $4.3 million over this year’s expenditures. The revenue side, including state aid, won’t be known until the state adopts its budget, but Albany politicians have promised to do so by the state’s April 1 deadline. The board decided to vote on the spending plan April 8.

David M. Nemi, vice president of the board, said the district will simply appropriate about $3.5 million from its fund balance to fill any gaps, and replenish the fund balance with the anticipated state aid increase. Nemi said if the board adopts a budget with spending cuts and state aid then jumps, the district won’t be legally able to spend the additional money.

“There will be no program cuts, no layoffs,” Board President John A. Linderman said. But Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley warned that if state aid doesn’t rise as much as the board hopes, some open positions may have to remain unfilled.