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COLONIE: Voters support merger study

The district could also increase its reserve funds, which were cut in half after the district pulled $2.75 million from it to offset rate increases next year.

"We are very pleased with the strong community support for the merger. This shows us that there is support to move this along," said Thomas Rybaltowski, assistant superintendent for business for North Colonie.

Rybaltowski forwarded the results of the vote to the state Department of Education along with the preliminary findings of the 26-member committee formed of North Colonie and Maplewood district staff, students and residents, charged with studying the feasibility of the annexation.

That committee presented the rough financial figures and profile of the new North Colonie school to residents and will be the guiding force of the state's go-ahead on the merger.

"We've painted the broad stroke, the money and curriculum instruction, but pulling it all together is the next thing we have to do so next fall people have a little bit more about what we are doing," said Steele.

The district will put together a more in-depth account of how the annexation would pan out financially for staff, residents and students, said Steele. Public meetings will be planned to review any of the new information leading up to the final vote, said Rybaltowski.

The final approval vote could come in late September or early October. If passed the annexation would go into effect July 1, 2008.

On Tuesday, May 15, Maplewood residents approved a $2,627,662 spending plan for next year, a 5 percent increase over the current operational budget. A Maplewood home assessed at $75,000 will see an increase of $156.75 on its tax bill.

North Colonie residents passed a $79.5 million budget for the 2007-2008 school year, a 2.4 percent increase over the current year's spending plan. A home assessed at $200,000 will see an increase of $127.40 in taxes.""

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