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Lakeland Voters Approve $157M School Budget

MOHEGAN LAKE, N.Y. – Voters in the Lakeland School District approved on Tuesday a $157 million budget for the 2012-13 school year.

The majority of residents who battled the inclement weather to vote at Van Cortlandtville Elementary School throughout the day approved the spending plan, according to official results, by a margin of 1,056 to 381—a favorable rating of 73 percent.

Voters also approved a $1.035 million proposition 1,003 to 469 to purchase four 30-passenger school bus vans, two Suburban-style bus vans and seven full-size buses.

"We had a very reasonable budget and we were able to keep the budget at the same level as last year," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Stone. "It's just great news that we can keep all the programs. It should be a great year for Lakeland."

The tax rate changes vary by municipality. Yorktown residents will experience a 2 percent tax hike, while property owners in Cortlandt will see a 3.2 percent jump. Taxes in Somers will increase 1.7 percent.

In Putnam, Carmel residents will get a 5.6 percent increase and Philipstown a 0.4 percent hike. Putnam Valley residents will see a 0.7 percent decrease.

The budget eliminated six full-time positions, two part-time workers and the peer mediation program at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School.

Meanwhile, in the board of education race for three available unpaid seats, incumbents Carol Ann Dobson, James Carroll Jr. and Brian Hugick, who ran as a team, fended off the challenge of Robert Rodriguez to earn new three-year terms.

Official results, including the counting of absentee ballots, show that Carroll was the top vote getter with 1,208 votes, followed by Dobson with 1,205 and Hugick with 1,110. Rodriguez received 452 votes.

Dobson, the current board vice president, earned her fourth term on the board. Carroll will begin a fifth term and Hugick a third term.

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