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Cazenovia: School board unbundles capital project

The Cazenovia School Board feels they've listened to the concerns of the community and have addressed and mitigated several problematic issues. At the public meeting on Oct. 16, the board passed a resolution authorizing the district to move forward with a building project referendum on a $13 million capital project. The referendum vote will take place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday Dec. 14 at the high school. There will be a public hearing prior to the vote, but a date has not been set.

As per request of several members of the community, the capital project has been unbundled into two propositions. The first proposition includes much of the repairs, replacements, removals, renovations and the installation of a multi-use synthetic sports field at the Buckley-Volo field site costing about $12.7 million. The second proposition includes the lights. Field lights for night games cost about $300,000.

"The board is working hard to address the concerns of the people," said Bill Furlong, Cazenovia School District Assistant Superintendent. "If the lights get voted in, we don't intend to allow them to be rented out."

Another concern raised by the public was the volume of the P.A. during games. Plans are underway to raise the speakers so that they may point down instead of across, using the same concept of the lights to relegate glare.

"We will address the Lake Association's concerns in the design and construction phase of the project," said Ed Roickle, Cazenovia School Board President. "We can't please everyone, but we addressed some things already like unbundling the project and the removal of additional bleacher seating."

The state aid ratio went up from 66 percent to 75 percent. The government will now pay for three quarters of the project as opposed to two thirds. There was also some financial maneuvering decreasing the total tax burden from more than 3 percent to a little more than a 2 percent increase. The maneuvering involved reducing the bond term for the field and lights portion of the project and taking advantage of a $500,000 government grant being offered.

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