Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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May 20, 2013

Residents head to polls Tuesday

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 2013-14 school year.

A couple of districts will have an extra decision to make as well. Lockport City School residents have a $22.1 million capital improvement project to consider, while Barker residents will determine whether or not to allow a library tax levy that would convert the Barker Free Library into a school district library.

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

• Three people will be running for a pair of three-year terms on the school board. Incumbent William Smith will be joined on the ballot with Mary Jo Clemens-Harris and John McDonald. Clemens-Harris is making a second attempt to run for the board.

• Barker’s proposed budget is $19 million, which is a 2.4 percent or $460,000 decrease in spending. The tax levy amount needed would be $3.91 million, a 3.5 percent or $132,500 increase, but below the district’s legal limit of 90 percent.

Barker will lose $3 million in its PILOT agreement with the Upstate Power Producers Somerset plant (formerly AES.) The district will also share superintendent Roger Klatt with Royalton-Hartland, who is need of a superintendent with the upcoming departure of Kevin MacDonald. The districts are also sharing a wrestling team, special education programs and a business teacher, starting this fall.

Six positions will be cut. It’s expected the property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value would rise 54 cents.

• Also on the ballot is the proposition to convert Barker Free Library into a school district library. The Barker Free Library Board of Trustees decided in the fall to pursue becoming a school district public library in order to stabilize its funding and provide elected representation to the taxpayers, officials said.

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