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Published: Tuesday, 2/10/2009

Closing school, cutbacks eyed by Otsego board

TONTOGANY More cuts, higher taxes, and the closing of an elementary school may be in store for Otsego Local Schools as it struggles to cope with what Superintendent Jim Garber last night called the perfect storm of a financial crisis.

The Board of Education Monday night voted to put a 5-mill emergency levy proposal on the May 5 ballot. A 7 a.m. special meeting was called for Feb. 17 to approve final language. The levy, which would last five years, would cost the owner of a $100,000 house about $150 more in property taxes a year.

Mr. Garber said he will propose an additional $600,000 in cuts in April of which $200,000 would come from closing either Haskins or Weston school. Layoffs and other cuts would account for the other $400,000. That would be in addition to $905,000 pared 10 months ago, bringing the district s total cuts to more than $1.5 million over two years, Mr. Garber said.

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