Ballston Spa school budget passes

The 2007-2008 Ballston Spa Central School District Budget and all attached propositions were passed by its residents Tuesday, May 20, with 1,325 votes cast in favor of the budget and 1,012 opposed.

The budget stands at $70,162,308, a 6.27 percent increase from last year. That presents an average 1.5 percent tax increase for residents of the district.

We appreciate the Ballston Spa community members for supporting the budget and the propositions, said Ballston Spa Central School District Superintendent Raymond Colucciello. "Our Board of Education will continue to focus on providing a world-class education for our 4,400 students."

Colucciello said the budget will provide support for full-day kindergarten programming, and also provide a foundation for incoming Superintendent Joseph Dragone to guide the district's academic programs.

The ballot contained four propositions for voters. The first was the spending of $896,000 to replace several of the district's school buses. The proposition passed, 1,393 to 899.

Voters also approved the expenditure of $503,000, 1,388 to 909, to provide renovations and repairs to the district's schools.

A third proposition authorizing the district to contribute $43,000 toward the expense of operating the public library passed, 1,580 to 699.

The last proposition on the ballot involved supporting the Ballston Spa Area Recreation Commission with $28,000. The money would help support Saturday school and summer programs, and voters approved it 1,555 to 748.

That's money Ballston Spa resident Rebecca Grugen thinks would be well spent.

"I went to Saturday school as a kid," said Grugen. She said programs occurring outside of school hours can be just as important as standard school programming.

Three candidates were vying for two seats on the school board. Incumbents Jeanne Obermayer and Frank Townley were both seeking another three years on the board, and newcomer Shawn Raymond also threw his hat into the ring.

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