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An uncertain future over state aid for school district construction projects is just one reason the Batavia City District wants to move ahead now with upgrading its athletic facilities.
The district held a public informational meeting last night into a $3.9-million project to renovate VanDetta Stadium and install artificial turf. Improvements would also be made at John Kennedy Elementary and Batavia High School athletic facilities.
Batavia School’s Athletic Director Mike Bromley says the improvements are needed to allow the district to keep pace with other schools and keep the local programs competitive.

"We have added a Lacrosse team and we really haven't provided them with a great place to practice or play," Bromley said, "this project will get the team out of the parking lot and out of the gym and give them the ability to be on a field before they actual play their first contest."

A public vote on the project is slated for March 29th.
New numbers released by the school district last night place the tax increase for the average homeowner, with the STAR exemption figured in, at about $6.41 per year.

Batavia Police have filed sexual abuse charges against an inmate at the Wyoming Correctional Facility.
The case dates back five years.
Charges of First Degree Sexual Abuse have been lodged against 28-year-old Anthony Dioguardi.
Batavia Police say Dioguardi had forced sexual contact with a girl under the age of 11 on two separate occasions in 2006
Dioguardi is serving time at Wyoming for a similar incident.

Schools across New York are being told to dip into rainy day funds offset proposed cuts in state aid.  Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy told a budget hearing in Albany that school districts can also freeze workers' salaries to find extra cash as Governor Cuomo seeks to slash seven-and-a-half percent in state education funding.  Duffy told state lawmakers that districts have more than one-and-a-half billion dollars in reserve accounts and unused federal stimulus money.  Districts are warning that the proposed cuts will mean massive teacher layoffs and skyrocketing class sizes.

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2011-2012 executive budget is starting the state on a path to long-term budget balance.  After reviewing Governor Cuomo's proposed spending plan, DiNapoli believes the budget makes progress towards finally reversing the state's practice of spending more money than it takes in, without significant tax increases and deficit borrowing.


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