Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

May 18, 2014

Voters head to school polls

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Residents in all six eastern Niagara County school districts will be heading to the polls Tuesday to decide on school board members and budgets for the 2014-15 school year.

Here’s a brief look at what’s on Tuesday’s ballot. For more information, stories on each ballot item can be found on the Union-Sun & Journal’s website, lockportjournal.com.

Barker

Barker School District voters will be deciding on an $18.5 million budget, which is a $500,000 decrease is spending but still raises the tax levy by 2 percent. The levy will rise from $3.9 million for the current school year to $4 million for 2014-15, with $75,000 of the tax levy slated for the Barker Free Library. The library was voted in as a school district public library during the May 2013 school budget vote.

The estimated average tax rate for 2014-15 is $16.46 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, about 32 cents higher than this year, provided assessments remain the same. Barker is also losing $1.5 million from its Payment-In-Lieu-of-Taxes revenue from the Somerset power plant, formerly known as AES Somerset.

The only reduction in staff is one teacher who will retire and won’t be replaced.

For the Board of Education election, board members John E. Sweeney Jr. and Louis Mead are up for re-election and they’re also the only declared candidates.

Polls are open from noon until 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Herbert F. Ludwig Fine Arts Hall, 1628 Quaker Road, Barker.

Lockport

Lockport City School District voters will consider an $86.3 million budget, which is roughly $300,000 more than the current school year and raises the tax levy by the district’s cap of 2.26 percent, or $797,503 to just over $36 million.

Assuming assessments and equalization rates remain the same, the levy would cause the tax rate to increase by 57 cents per $1,000 of assessed land value.

The district will use $2.4 million from its reserves and $2 million from its appropriated fund balance.

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