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January 4, 2013

Two school projects up for vote

Voters will soon decide the fate of capital projects in two area schools.

The polls will be open in the Oneonta City School District from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday for voting on a $4.6 million project. Balloting will take place at the former Center Street Elementary School building.

A newsletter on the work was recently mailed on the project, including the scope of work and the date and time for voting. No new building is involved, interim Superintendent David Rowley said. Instead, it involved maintenance and replacements or upgrades of equipment.

It provides for spending $1.5 million for districtwide work, including technology upgrades in the middle/high school and three elementary buildings. A security and video surveillance system would be installed in all buildings. This is a long-standing recommendation of the school’s safety committee that is more important with recent national events, Rowley said.

The project also calls for projects at each of the school buildings, except for Center Street. This includes $1.6 million of work at the middle/high school. The drainage behind the buildings would be improved, so runoff during heavy rains won’t get into the building. 

If approved, the state will pay about 70 percent of the costs. The local share, starting in the 2014-15 school year, is $119,000 a year over the 15-year lifetime of the bonds. That would be equal to a 0.6 percent tax-levy increase, Rowley said

Voters in the Sidney Central School District will decide on two propositions, including a $7.7 million capital project, on Jan. 15. Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the lobby outside the high school auditorium. A community meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the high school auditorium.

The vote had been scheduled for Oct. 30 but was postponed because of potential severe weather.

The first proposition is for the capital project. The district anticipates about 72 percent of the work will be paid for with state funding, according to the district newsletter. With $1.5 million in reserve funds also being used, the remaining local share is $701,385. On a $100,000 home, the approximate cost would be about $4 annually.

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