Friday, December 15, 2017

Arkport voters approve $8.2 million capital improvement project

ballot box graphic

On Thursday, Dec. 8, Arkport Central School District residents voted to authorize the district to proceed with a capital improvement project to address critical facilities and equipment needs.

Arkport residents approved:

  • Proposition 1, 222 votes to 62 votes.
  • Proposition 2, 204 votes to 77 votes.

Voters also elected Mark Young to the Board of Education for the remainder of the five-year term left vacant when former BOE President Stephen Hoyt resigned this fall. Young, who received the largest number of votes (193), will serve until June 30, 2018.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to those who found time during this busy season to come out today and vote,” Superintendent of Schools Jesse Harper said. “This project is critical to providing a safe and healthy learning environment for our students – and one that fully prepares them for the 21st century world that awaits them beyond graduation.”

The scope of the work is based on the needs assessment, called a Building Condition Survey, that the New York State Education Department requires school districts to complete every five years, to ensure they are planning for and maintaining their assets. It consists of high-priority and essential needs identified during that process.

The project was broken out into two propositions. The first included upgrades to drainage, lighting, paving and ball fields, a new athletic track, as well as interior renovations to ceilings, floors, windows, doors, lockers, heating, cooling, electrical and plumbing systems and the installation of a new digital sound system for the Performing Arts Center. Proposition I will cost $6,530,000 and will not result in a local tax increase. Most of the cost will be paid by state building aid (83 percent), with the balance coming out of the district’s capital reserve fund.

Proposition 2, which calls for a complete reconfiguration of the cafeteria and kitchen, including new equipment, furniture, serving lines, lighting and more, will cost an additional $1,655,400. Proposition 2 could not pass without approval of Proposition 1.

The district estimates the local share of the total project’s cost (Propositions 1 and 2) to be about 5 percent, with the remaining 95 percent coming from state aid and district capital reserves. To finance the local share, the district will need to increase local taxes by about 1 percent annually, which, for the owner of a home valued at $70,000 with no STAR exemption, would mean an annual tax increase of about $14. For a homeowner with a Basic STAR exemption, the increase would be about $8, and with a Senior STAR exemption, an increase of $1.

To learn more about the project, click here to view, print or download the four-page newsletter that was mailed to all Arkport residents.

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Uploaded on November 14, 2016, 1:50 pm