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Pleasantville School Board Sends Budget to Voters

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – Pleasantville voters will decide on a $45,300,311 budget next month now that the board of education unanimously approved the spending plan Tuesday night.

"OK, we have a budget," Pleasantville Board of Education President Lois Winkler told an applauding crowd after the approval. The finalized budget will be put to a public vote on May 15.

The only alteration made to the budget from earlier proposals was a last-minute inclusion of $55,000 for repairs on the district’s tennis courts. The board was able to include the repairs as the budget was already under the allowable tax levy cap.

“The stars are sort of aligned this year in a way they might not align again,” said board member Shane McGaffey.

The budget’s final levy was $32,923,844, an increase of 1.71 percent from the previous year. With exemptions from New York State, Pleasantville was allowed to have its levy as high as 2.4 percent. The tax rate would be increased from $1,337 to $1,361, a $24 increase per 1,000 assessment, or 1.81 percent.

Athletic Director John Bauerlein said fixing the courts are a necessity for keeping the district’s tennis teams intact. Currently, the cracked courts force Pleasantville teams to play home games at Pace University.

Bauerlein said busing fees could end up proving too costly if the courts deteriorated to the point where they could not even accommodate practice. The repairs, which could begin this summer after a bidding process, are expected to have a 10 year shelf life.

As no surprise to district officials, about $34 million, or 75 percent, of the final $45 million budget was comprised of salaries and employee benefits.

"I think it's important to remind people that a significant portion of that were pension costs, of which we have no control over," said Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter.

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