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Lake Placid school voters say yes to capital project, budget

May 17, 2017
By ANTONIO OLIVERO - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID -- Voters of this village showed strong support for the Lake Placid Central School District at the ballot box Tuesday, May 16 as they passed its capital project and budget proposals by wide margins.

They approved the $19.16 million capital project by an unofficial count of 362 for and 198 against.

They approved the $18.7 million budget for the 2017-18 school year by an unofficial count of 416 for and 142 against.

Article Photos

Lake Placid Middle/High School
(News photo — Andy Flynn)

District Superintendent Roger Catania said results for the three open school board seats would not be available Tuesday night as personnel would need until Wednesday morning to count write-in votes. Only two candidates ran for three open positions on the Board of Education, which necessitated write-ins.

"We are really pleased to get the support for the capital project," Catania said. "We know we are asking the community for a lot there, but it's a really important project. Almost 90 percent of it is infrastructure and security.

"It's not a flashy project," he continued, "but it's critical for the future of our facilities. So we are really pleased to have that kind of support, and I think once again, the community is showing overwhelming support for the budget."

The two school board candidates on the ballot were incumbent Jeffrey Brownell and Joan Hallett-Valentine. Terms expire this year for Brownell as well as his fellow board members Camelia Sheridan and Patricia Stanton, neither of whom sought another term.

In the days leading up to the vote, another candidate publicized his candidacy as a write-in, Daniel Marvin, a Lake Placid-based land surveyor.

Next year's budget equates to a spending increase of 1.86 percent over this year, with a tax levy increase of 1.58 percent.

Voter turnout increased this year. Last year, 363 voters showed up to the polls to approve the 2016-17 budget by a vote of 309 to 54.

The district's estimated annual debt service for the new capital project is $1.62 million per school year, beginning in 2019-20. The project's cost, a maximum of $19.16 million, is down from $21 million the district initially considered in September after plans were presented by John Jojo of Mosaic Associates and Scott Swenson of Engineered Solutions.

Catania has said the district plans to pair the incurring of that new debt with shedding its current debt service from capital projects in 2000 and 2007 -- approximately $1.05 million per year. The addition of the new debt and the subtraction of the old would result in an estimated annual increase in debt service of $570,000 for 2019-20. The district is estimating that this would result in an annual property tax increase of $53.26 for a home valued at $200,000.

The final version of the capital project included infrastructure improvements such as replacing original windows and doors; reconstructing deteriorated exterior masonry and steel; replacing aging elevator cabs; reconstructing deteriorated paving and sidewalks; upgrading electrical, HVAC and plumbing systems; replacing deteriorated roofing; replacing original exterior light fixtures; reconstructing deteriorated concrete retaining walls; and resurfacing the track at the North Elba Show Grounds.

Safety and security improvements include providing security vestibules at the elementary and middle-high schools, providing impact-resistant film on non-tempered interior doors and windows, installing bullet-resistant film on first floor exterior doors and windows, installing aisle lighting at the middle-high school auditorium, replacing the railing at the middle-high school auditorium balcony, providing stairs at the side of the district office, and reconstructing original toilet rooms at the elementary school for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.

Other enhancements included in the capital project are exterior signage and landscaping, a main office renovation at the elementary school, and in the middle-high school auditorium, new seating, ceilings, lighting and sound systems, as well as a reconstruction of stage wings.



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