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Lake Central School Corp.

ST. JOHN — After many years of receiving raises averaging 1%, Lake Central School Corp. administrators received a pay boost of 7.25%.

The increases for principals and all administrators except the superintendent came Monday after the board approved raises for teachers last month ranging from 7% to 15%.

The pay hikes were made possible by last year's passage of the referendum by district voters. Superintendent Larry Veracco said the district has been very limited in the funds it had available for raises during the past decade, most of it coming from money saved when experienced teachers at the upper levels of the pay scale retired and were replaced by teachers at the bottom of the scale.

"Without the referendum, we were really scraping by," Veracco said. "Symbolically, we wanted to give them something each year."

The new collective bargaining agreement with the teachers allocated $2.475 million for raises, which amounted to between $4,000 and $6,000. The increase for the administrators will cost a total of about $253,000, according to Business Services Director Rob James.

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The amount of the increases was reduced from 9 percent by Veracco shortly before the board meeting, and James said he had not had time to calculate the new salaries except the principals' because of the change. He said the elementary principals' salaries increased from $104,198 to $111,752; middle school principals, who were making $106,957, now will get $114,711, and high school principals, who were paid $118,396, now will receive $126,980.

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The administrators will receive the same 1.75% contribution toward their retirement accounts that the teachers got.

The increases for both teachers and administrators will not show up in the paychecks until sometime in December, James said. The board is yet to act on an increase for Veracco.

The board also approved a contract to lease 153 acres of vacant land it owns at Blaine and 101st streets in St. John to Dustin Karstensen for $260 per tillable acre. James said 145 acres are tillable, and the district received four bids for farming it. Half the total bid of $37,700 is payable May 1 and the other half is due Nov. 1. James said Karstensen previously leased the land from 2011-13.

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