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All Budget Items Pass in Hen Hud Schools Vote

MONTROSE, N.Y. – Voters in the Hendrick Hudson Central School District passed the 2012-13 budget, which came in under the tax levy cap. The budget approval came with the tentative end of negotiations between the district and its teachers union, the Hendrick Hudson Education Association. The two entities have been in contract negotiations for nearly 18 months.

"We are deeply gratified our community came out to support our budget,” Schools Superintendent Daniel McCann said in a press release. “This budget reflected difficult choices but at its core preserved a majority of the programs and opportunities our students and community have come to expect from our school district.”

McCann said the budget and the tentative end of negotiations with the union were "two good days of good news," for the district. McCann said he was unable to discuss specifics of the agreement with with the teachers, but called it a "responsible" agreement for multiple years.

Voters passed the budget with 835 "yes" votes, and 484 "no" votes.

The total 2012-13 budget is $70,603,157, bringing a 1.03 percent tax levy increase. The levy increase is below 2 percent because of a complicated equation provided by New York state, which calculates each school district’s tax levy cap individually.

The district is made up of the Town of Cortlandt and a small part of Peekskill. Cortlandt residents will see a 1.45 percent tax rate increase, to $962.40 per $1,000 of assessed value, $106 more annually on the average tax bill of $7,410.

Peekskill residents will see a tax rate decrease of 1.93 percent, to $483.78 per $1,000 of assessed value, $73 less annually on the average tax bill of $3,725. The average bill in Cortlandt and Peekskill is based on a home with an assessed value of $7,700.

Voters also passed two bond propositions for the district, the first for $500,000 that will go toward roof repairs in Buchanan-Verplanck Elementary School and the Hendrick Hudson High School gym. The propositions passed with 879 "yes" votes, and 362 "no" votes.

A referendum for four vehicles worth $217,000, comprising one wheelchair-accessible van, two vans with dual rear wheels and one Suburban sport utility vehicle, passed by 764 "yes" votes and 490 "no" votes.

Voters also approved, by 835 "yes" to 404 "no" votes, the Hendrick Hudson Free Library budget of $1,371,887. The budget represents a 1.5 percent increase and a tax rate increase of 0.44 cents per $1,000 of assessed value in Cortlandt, and a 10-cent decrease in Peekskill.

Two incumbent Board of Education trustees ran unopposed for new three-year terms. Trustee Laurie Ryan received 727 votes, and Trustee Mary-Pat Briggi received 682 votes.

The district will receive $22.3 million through agreements for payments in lieu of taxes in the 2012-13 fiscal year, predominantly from the Indian Point nuclear power plants in Buchanan. The plants provide more than $17.8 million per year to the district.

All results are unofficial and do not reflect 51 absentee ballots that had not yet been counted.

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