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Tupper Lake, Long Lake school voters approve budgest, propositions

Dan McClelland

Tupper Lake Central School District voters approved in overwhelming fashion the district's $19.43 million spending plan that was put before them when they went to the polls last Tuesday.

The new budget, which will see a spending increase by 3.81%, was approved 324 to 55. A total of 380 votes were cast and 85% of those voted “yes.”

The school tax levy (what taxpayers pay) in the new budget is $8.1 million, up from the current figure of $7.9 million. The increase was 2.1% which fell below the 2% state tax cap, when permissible exemptions districts enjoy were factored in.

Public school enrollment this coming year is expected to be down only three students from this year's enrollment of 726, indicating a flattening trend.

Last week's school voting saw a second proposition on the ballot to permit the district this coming year to purchase two new school busses, as part of its five-year replacement plan adopted a number of years ago. The question also included the purchase of a second zamboni ice-cleaning machine for the civic center. The package totaled $350,000 but the district will see $121,000 from the state in transportation aid in coming years. The measure also passed by a huge margin, 309 to 70, or with an 82% favorable rating.

David Dewyea, a veteran member of the board and who was running unopposed this year, was re-elected to another three-year term with the endorsement of 348 voters.

Long Lake voters okayed a $3.5 million capital construction project to make repairs to school buildings. The vote count there was 120 in the affirmative while 97 voters opposed it.

A new $4.18 million school budget was approved like most North Country budget votes last Tuesday. The budget vote was 153 to 63. Spending in the new financial plan is up by $117,768 over the current budget. Long Lake's tax levy for this coming school year is $2.91 million- up 2.42% or $69,000. The district's tax cap, with exemptions, this year was 2.45%.

Replacing Fred Short on the school board this year will be Joan Paula who garnered 125 votes. Unsuccessful in the race was Jodi Luxford with 79 votes.

There were single write-in votes cast Tuesday for Timothy Touchette, John Adams, Gary Baker and Tony Clark.