Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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March 14, 2013

More unknowns in budget


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — If the budget were to pass, while everything else related to tax rates remained the same, the effect would be an increase of about $1.11 per $1,000 of assessed land value.

Lockport is planning to use $2.6 million in reserves and $2.4 million from its appropriated fund balance.

But, any additional revenue could reduce reserve usage or ease the tax burden on taxpayers, said Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley. Or spending could be increased, too.

So, in order to not rush into a decision, board members decided Wednesday to move back the budget adoption date, if needed. Board members were scheduled to adopt a budget by their next meeting, March 27.

Next month, the Lockport Board of Education will meet April 10 and 17.

While budget adoption could be pushed back, two related dates are etched in stone. A public hearing on the budget will be held May 8 and residents will vote May 21.

The district is exploring a potential capital project that would address needs in some of the buildings. Most of those needs came up in a recent state-mandated building condition survey. It would also include kitchen upgrades in the elementary schools.

The project is currently tagged at $22.1 million, for which $20.4 million of which is state aidable. Lockport would receive 91.7 percent of that in state building aid reimbursement, while the rest would be covered by the district’s capital reserve fund.

If the project goes forward, residents would vote on it at the same time as the budget on May 21.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

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