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BALLSTON SPA: District budget vote nears

Another proposition would authorize the district to spend a maximum of $568,000 to renovate and reconstruct various buildings. These capital improvements are general rehabilitation projects that this year will likely include security upgrades, gym renovations, window replacements and stairwell repairs.

The last two propositions allow the district to contribute money to the Ballston Spa Public Library and Ballston Spa Area Recreation Commission to assist in offsetting maintenance and operating costs. District residents will vote for two seats on the school board. Incumbents Kathy Jarvis and Pat Leanza are running unopposed.

Sirianni said that Ballston Spa Central School District has benefited greatly this year from Gov. Eliot Spitzer's new program, which incorporates new factors into how state aid is calculated.

"These new factors, particularly those associated with student poverty, are projected to result in a significant increase in state aid for the district," he said. In comparison to other local districts, Ballston Spa ranks No. 1 with the percentage of students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade who are eligible for free or reduced lunch, at 23 percent. Sirianni said for the 2008-2009 budget, the increase is about 9 percent or approximately $1.3 million.

Sirianni provided estimated tax rates, saying that his numbers were estimates only, since final tax assessments and equalization rates will not be completed until August 2007. Based on the tentative rates supplied May 1, Sirianni said the towns of Milton and Ballston could expect to see an increase of 3.6 percent, translating to 69 cents, while Charlton would see an increase of 9.4 percent; $2.15. The town of Malta may actually see a decrease by 7 percent or 15 cents.

Voting will take place on Tuesday, May 15, between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. at the Malta Town Hall (for Malta residents) and at Ballston Spa High School (for Milton, Ballston and Charlton residents). Both sites will have student artwork and projects on display. ""

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