ADVERTISEMENT

During her first meeting as Cheektowaga Central School Board president Tuesday night, Renee Wilson had good news to share with district property owners – the tax rate is going down.

The Board of Education unanimously approved the 2014-15 tax rate of $16.883, which is a 4.2 percent decrease from what homeowners paid this year.

In May, voters approved the board’s adopted 2014-15 budget, which featured a 2.2 percent tax levy increase, meeting the district’s allowable cap. During a presentation before the vote, district Treasurer Kaitlyn Tokarczyk said that the taxes on a home valued at $100,000 would be $1,797, which would be $39 higher than this year’s bill.

Now, instead, those same homeowners will see a tax decrease of about $75 this year.

Tokarczyk attributed the change to the commercial tax levy coming in higher than anticipated.

Vice President Brian Gould said that keeping property taxes low is attracting business to Cheektowaga, which then benefits residents even more. He pointed to the upcoming opening in the town of Cabela’s first hunting, fishing and outdoors store in New York State as one example.

This is huge,” he said of the tax decrease.

Also during the meeting, the board approved the creation of an emergency medical technicians elective course for the fall, as well as the hiring of Karla Mead as course instructor.

A dozen students will be split between two full-time classes, earning one credit toward high school transcripts and eight college credits.

The district is collaborating with Erie Community College, and Superintendent Dennis Kane said the pieces fell quickly into place once Joseph Gonter, EMT department chairman at ECC, contacted him about the course and what ECC could offer.

Trustee Walter Burgett credited Gould with leading the charge on creating such a course since becoming a board member 12 years ago. Gould also is fire chief of the Bellevue Volunteer Fire Company and a lieutenant with the Cheektowaga Police Department.

High School Principal Scott Zipp said that, “With the launch of this partnership with ECC, we at Cheektowaga can allot our students a dynamic opportunity to become responsible citizens in our community.”

Gonter said ECC is providing $10,000 to $15,000 in equipment for the course. This will be the college’s fourth such program, which also includes classes at Pioneer High School, Hamburg High School and BOCES in East Aurora.

The board’s next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 19 in the board room at Cheektowaga Central High School, 3600 Union Road.