Niagara Gazette


June 18, 2013

Lew-Port budget passed second time around

Relief. Appreciative.

Just a pair of words used by Lewiston-Porter officials after Tuesday's budget vote results were revealed. The district's $39.6 million spending plan was approved by voters in overwhelming fashion, 1,663 to 993, to avoid contingency status for 2013-14.

"We are relieved," School board President Jodee Riordan said. "There's not a lot to celebrate in this budget, but we're relieved it passed. And there was great turnout, which was nice to see."

Lew-Port's spending plan was the only one in Niagara County education which proposed a spending reduction from this year to next going back to May, but voters disapproved of it during the initial vote largely due to a massive tax levy increase above and beyond the state's property tax levy threshold.

The budget passed Tuesday features a decrease of 3.95 percent from the levy increase that was originally proposed. The new amount is below the state's levy limit in the district. The adopted spending plan reflected several uncomfortable cuts to student programs, including modified sports, after-school assistance programs and more than 30 staff positions eliminated or their hours reduced.

Despite the positive vote, Superintendent R. Christopher Roser was sullen.

"I know I have to do things different next year," he said. "It's a terrible budget. I'm happy for what we will be able to retain, but it's lean. There's nothing in there to speak of. There's almost nothing left."

Much of the district's financial problems stem from a lack of state-financed revenues. In 2008, then-Gov. David Paterson attempted to fix a multi-billion dollar state budget shortfall by reducing the amount of money it supplies in aid to its roughly 700 districts.

Each year the reduction has remained, despite a change at the top to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration. Lewiston-Porter itself has lost more than $1 million in foundation aid, the most common aid districts receive, in each of the last four years. Next year remains the same story.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page