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Local News

June 19, 2013

Tupper Lake, Minerva, Newcomb school budgets pass

Voters approved second-try budgets for Tupper Lake, Minerva and Newcomb central schools Tuesday.

All three districts had put up spending plans the first time around, on May 21, that exceeded the state tax-levy cap, and then chose to pare back spending and ask the voters to weigh in again.

Newcomb, alone, exceeded its state limit with its revamped proposal.

TUPPER LAKE CENTRAL

Tupper Lake Central School’s proposal, reduced from $17,233,794 to $16.9 million after its defeat in May, passed 561-488.

“But the bus proposition failed,” Superintendent Seth McGowan said Tuesday night.

For a second time, voters were asked to authorize the purchase of two 66-passenger buses at a cost of no more than $230,500. The tally was 475 “yes” votes and 561 “no.”

McGowan expressed bewilderment over the rejection of the proposition.

“If we maintain the same number of buses, which we should do, it means we’ll be paying a lot more in repairs,” he said. 

“And now we’re off cycle with state aid, so in a couple years we’re going to get crushed,” he said, as new buses will be needed when the funding isn’t available.

“It means that resell on the next year (if another proposition is put up and passes in 2014) is going to take a hit, probably $26,000 or $30,000.

“I really thought people would understand it’s not like going out and buying a new car.

“(But) I’m glad the budget passed,” McGowan said.

In May, the bus proposition got shot down 426-750.

The newly passed budget cuts seven jobs — a science teacher, foreign-language teacher, social-studies teacher, school psychologist, speech-improvement specialist and two special-education teachers.

The science and social-studies teachers will be laid off; the rest of the positions will be eliminated through attrition.

NEWCOMB CENTRAL

The tally for the $5.4 million Newcomb Central budget, which required a supermajority to pass, was 204-49.

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