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Elmsford Voters to Decide on Budget Tuesday

ELMSFORD, N.Y. – The numbers are in and the ballot has been finalized.

Now, Elmsford school administrators will wait and see if voters will OK the proposed $30.2 million spending plan.

Superintendent Barbara Peters said there has been a lot of positivity surrounding the plan, both from staff and the community.

“I feel that we have really represented to the public a fair budget that has been cut substantially but has maintained the integrity of our programs,” she said.

The 2012-2013 budget plan features a slight increase in spending from last year’s ledger, due in large part to rising costs in areas like retirement and pension costs, Peters said.  The district was, however, able to help offset some of those costs by reducing materials and supplies in a number of departments along with various staffing reductions through attrition.

In the end, administrators were able to craft a budget with a tax levy increase of 2.44 percent, well under the state’s mandated cap.

According to district estimates, Elmsford’s tax rate is expected to climb to $546.16 for every thousand dollars of assessed property value, up $14.39 from last year. That means the owner of a $100,000 home will pay roughly $1,400 more in school taxes this year compared to last year, assuming the projected rate remains unchanged.

Peters has said that should voters reject the budget on Tuesday, she will urge the board to bypass a second vote and move directly into a contingency plan.

That means cuts of more than $635,000, a slash that would have a significant impact on the district, she warned. Cuts could come in busing, athletics, field trips and before and after school help, among a number of other areas, Peters said.

“It would have a significant and negative impact on the school’s programs,” Peters said.

Voters will also have an uncontested race for the board of education in front of them when they hit the polls. Running uncontested races, Felice Harris and Michael Colasuonno are expected to take the seats of Vice President James Henson and Trustee Deborah Lawrance, both of whom opted not to seek reelection.

The polls will be open in Elmsford from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Alice Grady Music Room.

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