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Odessa proposes two percent tax levy increase

    ODESSA—The Odessa-Montour Central School District is proposing a $15,249,474 budget for the 2012-13 school year.
    This is up over the current 2011-12 budget of $15,091,456.  Odessa is proposing a two percent tax levy increase.
    According to the district, the tax increase on a home valued at $100,000, without a STAR exemption, is $24.  Property values are determined by local tax assessors and equalization rates are set by New York state.  All figures are subject to change and do not reflect STAR program reductions or other exemptions.
    Odessa’s budget breakdown has $1,978,937 for administration.  This covers office and central administration expenses.  The biggest increases came from an additional $60,573 for employee benefits and a new cost of $38,567 for planning/evaluation.
    The capital component equals $3,178,702.  Funds cover costs of operating, supplies, and capital project debt service.  There were no reductions.  Increases came from debt service ($34,431), maintenance ($24,789), and operations ($4,604).
    The final area is program, at $10,091,835.  Program contains all of the educational programs, staff salaries, athletics, and transportation.  The largest decrease was $159,827 in special education.  Employee benefits increased $282,854.
    The district is also asking voter approval to spend no more than $237,000 to purchase two school buses.
    The four candidates running for three seats are:
    • Damita Chamberlain: Sales manager, Ithaca Holiday Inn; radio/TV announcing, Center for Media Arts; partner in Chamberlain Appraisal Services and Property Management.  She has served on the O-M board of education since 2007.
    • Robert Halpin: Attorney.  Has a Bachelors’ Degree from Cornell University; Juris Doctor from Albany Law School; and Masters Degree in Public Administration from SUNY Albany.  Serves on the board of directors and as past chairman of the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of directors for the Delta Chi Association and is a member of the Schuyler County Bar Association.
    • Richard Horgan: College student at Cornell University, studying applied economics and management program.  Serves as a resident advisor at Cornell, is the head of recruitment and distribution for the Cornell Business Review and is a junior analyst for the Mutual Investment Club at the Cornell Healthcare Sector.
    • Karen Rock:  Dental Hygienist.  Graduate of OMCS in 1974.  She earned an associate degree from Erie Community College.  Volunteers at school and has been on the board for the past eight years.
All voting will take place at the H.A. Hanlon elementary school room 12.  Residents are reminded to bring photo ID.





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