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Somers Voters To Decide On $86.9M School Budget, Three Board Seats

Somers Middle School.
Somers Middle School. Photo Credit: File Photo

SOMERS, N.Y. -- Voters in the Somers Central School District will get to decide on Tuesday, May 19 whether to approve the proposed 2015-16 school budget of around $86.9 million.

Total spending under the budget comes in at exactly $86,619,022, with a spending increase of $1,113,304, or 1.30 percent.

The tax levy, which is the overall amount of property tax revenue for the budget, is proposed to rise by 1.57 percent to $74,698,927. The proposed levy comes within a state-mandated cap on annual increases.

The tax rate, which represents what taxpayers owe per $1,000 of assessed property value, is projected to increase by 2.44 percent. This means the rate would rise from from $153.40 per $1,000 of assessed value to $157.15 per $1,000 of assessed value. The tax rate, unlike the tax levy, is not capped by the state.

Other changes in the budget include a net increase of 2.2 positions at Somers High School, including an English teacher. Special-education job additions include a part-time coordinator, a part-time school psychologist and a full-time teacher to help with a transition-support program at the high school.

The district will also realize savings on state-mandated pension contributions, which it says is for the first time in four years. This will translate to around $1.4 million in savings, the district adds.

The district also cites a debt refinancing that will save it $2.1 million over the life of debt outstanding, with $96,443 in savings in the proposed budget.

Three school board seats are up for elections on Tuesday. They include seats currently held by board President Sarena Meyer and Michael D'Anna, whose terms are expiring at the end of June, and a seat vacated by Harvey Kriedberg, which ends in June 2017.

Meyer and D'Anna are running for re-election, while newcomer Chadwick Olsen is a third candidate. Because there are three seats up for votes, this means that the election cycle is uncontested. However, the district notes that whoever finishes third will be elected to the remainder of Kriedberg's term instead of starting a new one this year.

Polls are scheduled to be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., with voting taking place at Somers Middle School.

Information on the proposed school budget is available here.

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