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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Hammondsport seeks 1.65% school tax hike

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  • The Hammondsport Central School District will be asking voters to approve a $13 million budget for the 2014-15 school year with a property tax levy increase of 1.65 percent.
    The proposed levy is $8.2 million. The 1.65 percent tax hike stays under the state cap, so the budget will need a simple majority to pass on May 20.
    The budget increases spending by $624,748 or roughly 5 percent, with the largest increases in instructional costs, debt service and employee benefits.
    There will be no program or staff cuts.
    Hammondsport school officials are expecting to receive about $4.1 million in state aid. They used $350,000 in fund balance and $250,000 from reserves to balance the budget.
    There will be also two propositions on the ballot May 20, along with a school board election.
    The district is asking voters to approve spending up to $216,000 to buy two school buses, with $116,000 to be pulled from a transportation capital reserve fund and the rest from fund balance.
    The district is also asking voters to authorize the establishment of a new capital reserve fund that would be used to replace 60-year-old boilers and continue asbestos removal, and for other future facilities upgrades.
    There are two candidates, Kevin Bennett and Benjamin Hartman, vying for one open seat on the Hammondsport school board. Bennett is the incumbent.
    The school board will hold a public hearing on the budget at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the school library.
    The polls will be open from noon-8 p.m. May 20 in the lobby of the Main Street campus.

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