ALLEGANY — Allegany-Limestone Central School District administrators and officials were pleased with district voters’ overwhelming approval of the $23.1 million budget and the $16.1 million capital project for the 2017-18 school year.
Both propositions represent no tax increase.
The district’s superintendent, Dr. Karen Geelan, said the landslide approval for both the budget (260-30) and the capital project (250-45) will give the district the opportunity to continue on with services to students as well as begin the process for upgrading its campuses.
In commenting on the capital project, Geelan said the district can now move ahead in beginning the process of “fixing the things that need to be fixed and addressed with our buildings and grounds as well as making some improvements” that will benefit students, their families and the community.
“We’ll certainly start meeting right away and make our application to the state for the capital project,” Geelan said.
In addition, she said meetings will continue with the architects and construction management team, Clark, Patterson, Lee and Campus Construction, respectively.
“I think what is really helpful, too, is that it was such an overwhelming approval by such a large margin,” she continued. “It’s nice to have that kind of public support. We were very happy to put out a budget that decreases taxes for a third year in a row without any sacrifice to programs and services for our kids and families.”
The capital project will not impact the district’s budget, as 74 percent of the funds will be reimbursed by state building aid. In addition, $3 million in capital reserve funds also have been set aside by the district for the project. Additional funds will be provided by EXCEL building aid and Smart Schools Bond Act monies.
The project calls for a variety of improvements and safety upgrades at the elementary and middle-high school campuses and is expected to begin in the spring of 2019 and be completed in 2020. Geelan and project managers said additional funds have been factored into the budget to allow for inflationary hikes.
“To have a project that addresses our needs, like fixing a roof and parking lots, and also makes substantial improvement without costing our local taxpayers anything, is wonderful,” Geelan concluded.