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Voters head to polls Tuesday for school elections

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Voters thoughout the north country head to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballot on their respective 2013-14 school budgets.

They’ll also fill school boards seats. Many will also vote on other spending propositions such as bus purchases and extra funding for the public library within their school district.

Here is a summary, of what residents in 17 public school districts will see when they head to the polls:

*CANTON CENTRAL - The $24,303,124 budget increases the tax levy by 5.4 percent and increases overall spending by $1.3 million. The property tax rate would increase from $$19.26 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $20.30. Voters will also vote on a separate proposition that would allow the district to spend up to $470,000 to purchase three 66-passenger full-size buses, and one 30-passenger wheelchair equipped school bus. State transportation aid will cover an estimated 90 percent of the bus cost. Four candidates are seeking three seats on the board of education. The terms are for three years. Incumbents Phillip J. Burnett Sr., Janet Favro and Angelique Santimaw are seeking re-election. Keith R. Rosser is also vying for a seat. Voting is from noon to 9 p.m. in the high school library. A separate proposition would allow the Canton Free Library to collect an additional $12,000 from property taxpayers bringing the total library tax to $89,000.

*CLIFTON-FINE - Residents will vote from noon to 8 p.m. in the school foyer on a $9.5 million budget that does not raise the tax levy. Voters will also decide whether to purchase one school bus. Running for three seats on the board are incumbents Michelle L. Durham, Richard W. Hitchman, and Robert P. Tebo III, and newcomers Jerry W. Bush, Christopher E. Cooper, Thomas P. Hartmann, Danny Hickey, Robert E. Lachut and Christopher L. Westbrook.

*COLTON-PIERREPONT - Voters will be deciding the fate of the district’s $9,840,000 budget. The budget includes a tax levy of $7,060,000 or 3.91 percent. While an exact tax rate has yet to be calculated the district offers a property tax calculator on its website, www. cpcs.k12.ny.us to help taxpayers estimate what impact the budget will have them.

Residents of the district will also be electing one person to the board of education. Candidates include incumbent Jo Ann Roberts and former board of education member Scott Baxter.

Voting will be held from noon to 8 p.m. in the auditorium at the school.

*EDWARDS-KNOX CENTRAL – Voters will be asked to approve a $12,291,868 spending plan that increases the tax levy by 4 percent. They’ll also vote on a separate proposition to spend maximum of $320,000 to purchase three full-size buses. Two school board seats will be on the ballot, both carrying 5-year terms. Incumbent Amanda Fuller is being challenged for her seat by Thomas Whitmarsh and Julie Bullock. Incumbent Thomas O’Brien is running unopposed for his seat. Voting is from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday in the district’s auditorium.

*GOUVERNEUR - Residents will go to the polls from 1 to 9 p.m. in the high school auditorium lobby to vote on a $32.6 million budget that raises the tax levy 3.5 percent.

School board candidates running for three three-year seats are incumbents Barry R. Smith, Laurie M. Roberts and newcomer Lisa M. McGregor.

The school’s participation in government class will conduct a voluntary exit poll of voters.

*HAMMOND - District officials will present voters with a 2013-14 budget that calls for a 4.3 percent tax levy increase.

The proposed budget is $6,844,430, an increase of $235,123 over the 2012-13 budget. The tax levy would be $3,191,010, an increase of $132,087.

The tax rate per $1,000 of assessed property value would bring rates to $13.41 in Morristown, Hammond and Rossie, $14.27 in the town of Alexandria and $23.95 in Macomb.

School board member Bernard A. Martin is running unopposed for a second five-year term.

*HERMON-DEKALB CENTRAL - Voters will be asked to approve a $9,046,426 budget that increases the tax levy by 3.48 percent. They will also vote on a proposition to spend up to $115,000 to purchase one full-sized bus. In the Board of Education race for two board seats, incumbent Crystal Simmons is running alongside newcomers Raeleen M. Willard and Jill Davis. Both seats carry five year terms. Voting is from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the main entrance foyer area.

*HEUVELTON: Voters will accept or reject a proposed $12.5 million budget. The budget includes a 3.35 percent increase in the district’s tax levy, bringing the total levy to $3.05 million. Two school board seats are available, a full five-year term and a two-year term. The two-year term is left over from Richard Moore’s five year term which he resigned in December for personal reasons. Board Vice President Dr. John P. “Jack” Zeh is running for re-election and Michelle McGaw, who was appointed to fill Mr. Moore’s place, is also running. Darcy Backus is running as well. Polls will be open from 1 to 8 p.m. in the Poulton Auditorium.

*LISBON: Residents of Lisbon will vote on whether or not to accept the proposed $12 million budget. The budget proposal includes a 4.25 percent tax levy increase, bringing the total tax levy to $3.1 million.

Residents will also have a chance to vote for in the board of education race, though Nancy Addison is running unopposed. Tammy Amo decided not to run for reelection to another five year term.

*MADRID-WADDINGTON - Voters will be presented with a $14,793,075, budget that carries a 5.2 percent tax levy. Madrid-Waddington will see one contested race, with incumbent Jeffrey Dominy being challenged by Andrew A. Bracy and Jacqueline Brown. Gerald Molnar is seeking re-election and will be running unopposed.

Madrid-Waddington will also have two referendums on the ballot on May 21. The first measure will allow the purchase of two buses and one passenger van, not to exceed $250,000.

The other referendum will allow the district to purchase a kitchen steam cooker and kettle, not to exceed $40,000. The vote will take place from 1 to 8 p.m. in the junior-senior high school.

*MASSENA - Voters will cast their ballot on a $46.8 million budget that calls for a 2.9 percent increase in the tax levy.The tax rate would increase to $17.34 per $1,0000 of assessed property valuation. A separate proposition asks votes to approve the purchase of four full-size, 66-passenger buses at a cost not to exceed $412,883. Newcomer Lorie R. MacKenzie is the sole candidate running for a seat being vacated by incumbent Michael J. LeBire. Voting is from noon to 8 p.m. in the Massena Community Center, 61 Beach St.

*MORRISTOWN - Voters in Morristown will be able to accept or reject the proposed $9 million budget. The budget proposal includes a 3.35 percent increase in the school’s tax levy, increasing the total levy to $3.4 million.

Voters will also have the opportunity to vote on whether or not the district will purchase a new 65- passenger bus, for no more than $125,000, while trading in two old buses to help cover the cost. Additionally, there are three seats on the Board of Education available this year with four people seeking election. Larry Kring III, Mark Blanchard are seeking election along with incumbents Darrell Merkel and Mary Anne Bailey. Voting is in the main lobby of the school from noon to 9 p.m.

*NORWOOD-NORFOLK - Voters will be asked to approve a $20.3 million budget that calls for a 2.98 percent increase in the tax levy and a property tax rate of $30.35 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. The ballot will also include a proposition to spend up to $250,000 to purchase one 30-passenger bus and two 60-passenger buses at a cost not to exceed $250,000. Two incumbents, Jon Hazen and Suzanne Fiacco, are running for three seats on the school board, No one turned in a petition for a third seat held by Stephanie Allen. Voting is from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the district board room.

*OGDENSBURG - Ogdensburg voters will be able to vote on three issues from noon until 9 p.m. Residents living on the west-side of the Oswegatchie River can vote at Madill Elementary School while anyone living on the east-side can vote at the Ogdensburg Free Academy. This year voters will have the chance to accept or reject a proposed $36 million budget that includes a 4.69 percent increase over last year’s tax levy, bringing the total levy to $9.5 million.

Voters will also vote yes or no on the proposed sale of Sherman Elementary School, which will be closed at the end of June.

In addition Board of Education President Frederick P. Bean is running for re-election and James P. King, president of the Madill Parent Teacher Association, is challenging him for the seat.

*PARISHVILLE-HOPKINTON - Residents in the district will be asked to approve a $10,193,219 budget that carries with it a tax levy increase of 2.78 percent or $89,210 for a total levy of $3,300,926.

Two board of education seats are also available with incumbent James Young and Daniel Taylor, who has been on the board since last spring running unopposed for the seats.

*Potsdam Central School - In Potsdam residents will be deciding the fate of a budget of $27,324,782. The budget includes a 3.9 percent tax levy increase for a total levy of $11,844,369.

The district also has three available board of education seats with incumbent Ralph L. Fuller joined on the ballot by former board of education member Ann M. Carvill, Rachel H. Wallace and Judith M. Hinman.

While the final tax rate will likely decrease for many of the district’s voters due to Potsdam’s revaluation and an increase in assessments, using the 3.9 percent levy increase as a base results in an estimated tax rate increase of $96 cents per thousand dollars of assessed property value. For the owner of a $70,000 home with a STAR exemption that would translate to an increase of $53. For seniors receiving an enhanced STAR exemption their increase is only estimated to be $39 for the year.

*ST. LAWRENCE CENTRAL - Voters will be asked to approve a $19.8 million budget that increases the tax levy by 3.89 percent. The tax rate would increase to $24.56 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. They will also vote on a proposition that would allow the district to purchase three buses at a cost not to exceed $258,000. Incumbents James K. Lattimer and Behany L. St. Hilaire are both seeking re-election to school board. Voting is from 1 to 8 p.m. in the middle school gymnasium.

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