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Districts Hope
To Avoid Austerity

By Dan Hust
SULLIVAN COUNTY — June 16, 2006 – The two public schools in Sullivan County which didn’t see their proposed 2006-2007 budgets pass will once again ask voters for approval this Tuesday, June 20.
But the budgets will feature a raft of reductions intended to make the proposals more palatable to taxpayers.
Because if these proposals fail, the districts will be forced to enter into austerity budgets, which would slash expenditures by millions, rather than thousands, of dollars.
In Monticello, heeding the call of 783 voters (96 more than the 687 who said “yes” on May 16), the board reduced the originally proposed budget by $787,330, resulting in a total budget of $63,354,365.
The original 9.91 percent tax increase is not gone but has been cut nearly in half to 5.34 percent.
The board of education has also approved a separate proposition to be placed before the voters to fund the purchase of four replacement buses at a cost of $376,000.
Polling places throughout the district will be open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Village of Monticello residents will vote in the RJK Middle School, Thompson residents at the Rock Hill Firehouse, Forestburgh residents at the Forestburgh Town Hall, Mamakating residents at the Chase School in Wurtsboro, and Bethel residents at the Duggan School in White Lake.
Call the district at 794-7700 for more information and to confirm your polling location.
Sullivan West
In Sullivan West, the board wrestled with how to respond to 1,190 voters who said “no” to the proposed budget on May 16, compared with 802 who said “yes.”
Ultimately, they pared the budget down by $279,500 to $31,912,767, cutting the tax increase from 8.89 percent to between 5.5 and 5.8 percent.
The district’s three polling places are the Tusten-Cochecton branch of the Western Sullivan Public Library in Narrowsburg (for residents of the former Narrowsburg Central School District), the Delaware Youth Center in Callicoon (for residents of the former Delaware Valley district) and the 1938 gym at the Jeffersonville campus of SW (for residents of the former Jeff-Youngsville district). Polls will be open from noon-9 p.m. on Tuesday.
For more information, contact the district at 482-4610.

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