Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

May 6, 2013

Budget hearings to be held

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Public hearings will be held over the next week on school district budgets. Residents will vote on the spending plans May 21.

All six eastern Niagara school districts will be asking for more from their respectively tax levies, but all increase are below the New York state property tax cap.

• Lockport City Schools voters will decide on an $83 million budget. The budget is a 3.96 percent or $3.1 million increase in spending and calls for a 2 percent or $692,000 increase in the tax levy, below Lockport’s tax cap of 5.04 percent.

The hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the district offices, 130 Beattie Ave.

The budget would require roughly $36 million from local taxes, as well as $39.67 million in state aid, which is about $966,000 or 2.5 percent more than what Lockport received during the current school year.

Along with the recently adopted $83 million budget, district residents will vote on a capital improvement project. The project will include a number of repairs and upgrades needed throughout the district, most of which were tagged in a state-mandated building condition survey.

The survey, completed in 2010, pointed out a host of repairs and upgrades that were needed. Some of those items were addressed in a $18.9 million project that was approved in 2011.

The proposed project totals just over $22.1 million, covered by state building aid and about $3.1 million from the Lockport district’s capital reserve. So there is no additional tax impact on residents, said Deborah Coder, the district’s assistant superintendent for finance.

• Barker district residents will consider a $19 million budget. The budget is a $450,000 cut in spending and needs $132,500 or 3.5 percent more from the tax levy, a total of about $3.8 million.

The 3.5 percent rise is well below the district’s tax cap of 90 percent. The public hearing for the budget is at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Herbert Ludwig Fine Arts Hall, 1628 Quaker Road, Barker.

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