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North Syracuse Board of Education talks budget, land purchase

During the North Syracuse Board of Education meeting Jan. 24, the board reviewed the proposed purchase of land located near Cicero-North Syracuse High School, listened to a preliminary budget report and created a new ESL teaching position.

The purchase of 4.9 acres of land at 6068 Route 31 in Cicero (near C-NS) has been discussed by the district since 2008, when residents voted to approve its purchase. Since then, the district has been waiting to actually buy the land unti they are ready to build a parking lot on it, since the district would receive no building aid until construction begins. Superintendent Dr. Jerome Melvin recently made the proposal for December 2013 to "hold a special election to replace the C-NS High School turf field, repave the C-NS High School track, construct a parking lot on the Route 31 property, and minor renovations to C-NS High School, with no tax impact for property owners due to funds previously allocated to the turf project." A presentation was given on the information for further consideration.

The board also listened to a preliminary budget report, which discussed the impact of the two percent tax cap that Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing for is state budget. This would create a $8.2 million shortfall for the district if passed. The district will find out just how much losses they're dealing with after Cuomo presents his state budget on Feb. 1.

A new English as a Second Language Teacher position was also created by the board, effective Jan. 25, to accommodate the six new ESL students that have recently entered the district. Four students speak only Arabic, one student speaks Vietnamese and one student speaks Spanish. Susanna Cook has been appointed to the position, and will be assigned to Allen Road Elementary and Roxboro Road Middle schools.

The board also acknowledged the creation of a new C-NS girls' track booster club independent of the school district, called the C-NS Lady Northstars Track Team.

The next regular board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 7 at the District Offices, 5355 West Taft Road in North Syracuse.

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