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Leyden OKs 2.5% hike for share of Pioneer budget

LEYDEN — Voters at a re-convened annual town meeting approved $794,792 for Leyden’s share of the Pioneer Valley Regional School District budget, in a vote tabled from May 18.

The vote was put off because the district wasn’t sure what percentage of the coming school year’s budget each town would have to pay. This was due to conflicting amounts put forward in state budgets proposed by the governor and Legislature.

In the governor’s version, Leyden, the smallest of the district’s four towns, would have seen a $100,000 decrease from its share of the budget from this year. Budgets proposed by the Legislature, however, did not define towns’ minimum contributions, meaning individual shares of the total budget could differ greatly.

Those amounts still have yet to come out, as the state approaches the June 30 budget deadline.

A level-funded $775,407 was proposed at Monday’s meeting, but it was amended to $794,792, a 2.5 percent increase from the current budget.

Town Clerk Robert Hardesty said the budget was discussed for about an hour, but that it was more of a question-and-answer period than a debate.

Voters also approved a $4,500 share of projects at the school district’s central offices, $1,350 for capital projects at Pioneer Valley Regional School, $20,000 for a Highway Department stabilization account, $20,000 for a town building stabilization fund and $2,000 to an account for a future town museum.

The total fiscal year 2014 budget approved, including the schools, was $1.62 million.

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