Press-Republican

Local News

January 1, 2013

Crime, economic growth top '12 news

(Continued)

Good news came a few weeks later when PenAir announced it would locate at Plattsburgh International, with service to and from Logan International Airport in Boston.

In December, Allegiant Air revealed plans to offer nonstop jet service between Plattsburgh and Fort Myers/Punta Gorda, Fla., starting in February. And before the close of 2012, that airline launched its first flights between the city and Las Vegas.

— By Suzanne Moore, news editor

SCHOOL TAX CAP TESTED

Last spring, area public schools put up for vote their first spending plans under the state-imposed property-tax cap.

The Plattsburgh City School Board was one of few in the area that opted to exceed its calculated 3.01 percent tax-levy limit in an effort to find out if the public would support such a spending plan to preserve programs for students.

But the school’s 2012-13 budget, which carried a tax-levy increase of 5.82 percent and required 60 percent voter approval to pass, was soundly defeated in May by district residents in a vote of 1,365 to 729.

The board’s second budget proposal was within the tax-levy limit and ultimately passed but resulted in more than $1.5 million in reductions to district faculty, staff and programs.

In the coming months, the board will begin planning the district’s 2013-14 spending plan, and Superintendent of Plattsburgh City School James “Jake” Short said he doesn’t anticipate the board will have any doubt about what kind of tax-levy increase voters would support.

“It seems very clear to me that the taxpayers would prefer that we stay at or below the tax-cap threshold calculations,” he said.

“I don’t foresee anybody coming to that same decision of needing to hear the taxpayers’ voice on that.”

— By Staff Writer Ashleigh Livingston

FIGHT AGAINST K2

A grassroots effort kicked off by citizens, including many students, and various organizations in Essex County battled the growing prevalence of synthetic substances sold, purportedly, as incense but used, in fact, as mind-altering drugs. A big rally last spring took place in Elizabethtown with students coming from schools around the county. Part of the effort included visits to stores that carried the substances, often known as K2, to discourage them from selling it. Use of the substances can cause symptoms that include hallucinations and even death.

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