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Mohonasen officials unveil budget

Swezey said rising costs in health care and continued increases in diesel fuel costs were reasons for the increase.

Instruction costs increase from $22.26 million in 2007-2008 to $23.38 in the proposed budget.

Swezey said the district has proposed an expansion of its business education program at the high school and has proposed to expand the role of the high school social worker.

The district has also proposed to add three full-time teachers, to account for retiring staff.

"We've had a few teachers retire this year so it's really a balancing act," said Swezey.

Other line item expenses like debt service, operation and maintenance stayed stable.

Swezey said the district took several cost-saving measures this past year. The district switched to a less costly health-care plan for both teachers and retirees and has been focusing on energy efficiency.

"Just by making sure our lights are turned off at the end of the day, we've seen some real savings," said Swezey.

Longtime town resident Paul Anzalone, who attended Monday's meeting, said that with the economy as it is, he's satisfied with the district's budget.

"People see a state aid increase and they wonder why their taxes aren't going down, but they don't stop to see that costs of things are going up," said Anzalone.

Bus proposition up

for ballot vote

Residents will vote for a bus proposition along with the budget on Tuesday, May 20.

The proposition calls for the addition of two full-size 66-passenger buses and four 22-passenger buses with wheelchair accessibility.

The buses will cost district taxpayers $430,000, though Swezey said state aid will finance 78 percent of the purchase.

Swezey said the district will trade in three high-mileage, 66-passenger buses this year as part of its regular bus rotation schedule.""

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