A lot of the biggest stories covered in the Skaneateles Press this year involved public officials, business owners and community members making decisions that will affect the character and makeup of the community for the next generation. Two substantial development projects for the town were met with public resistance and appear to be stuck in the planning stages. The school district dealt with tough decisions such as hiring a new superintendent and new principals and trying to plan for the future at a time when the budget and cash reserves are tight. Town elections showed that sometimes having fresh faces in office is more important to the community than voting by political affiliation.
Printed below (in no particular order) are our picks for the top 10 biggest, most talked about and most impactful stories covered in the Press in 2013.
School district capital project rejected
The short version:
The Skaneateles Central School District proposed a $22.7 million capital project to repair its facilities. The referendum was rejected by a vote of the public on June 11, forcing the district to propose a more modest $2.8 million project in December, which passed.
How it unfolded:
The initial capital project proposal included more than $22.7 million in repairs and renovations to the high school and middle school buildings. It included projects designed to be done in five phases. The earliest phase involved urgent work such as roof replacements and masonry restoration to prevent water damage to the building. The project also included asbestos abatement, repairs and upgrades to the high school auditorium and a new, larger middle school gym. Residents who spoke out against the project said that some of the more expensive items, such as the $5.5 million gym proposal, would be an unnecessary burden on taxpayers.
The smaller proposal approved by the public on Dec. 10, included only the most urgent items such as roof replacements, masonry work, window replacements and security upgrades.