Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
April 10, 2012 Issue
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Contributed Illustration

A rendering of the proposed project – rejected by district voters on Tuesday – the complete the Sullivan West High School athletic fields.

Nix athletic fields

By Dan Hust
LAKE HUNTINGTON — Sullivan West’s plans for “completing” the Lake Huntington high school were definitively nixed by voters on Tuesday.
Unofficial results showed 421 people were against the proposal to spend up to $5 million from the Capital Reserve Fund, while only 265 were in favor.
Thus new fields for football, soccer, baseball, softball, tennis and basketball games won’t be coming to the high school.
“I’m just disappointed and saddened for the kids and community,” Superintendent Ken Hilton related on Wednesday.
But he wasn’t terribly surprised, especially with layoffs and deep fiscal issues facing the district.
“I knew going into this that it was bad timing,” he admitted. “... It’s just a tough time for people.”
The money in that reserve fund must now stay there for a few more years before being freed up for non-construction purposes, unless voters approve otherwise.
But Hilton confirmed that the most pressing problems with the high school’s drainage will still be addressed via about $800,000 left over from the original project to build the high school itself. (Two stormwater retention ponds, however, will not be reconstructed.)
A handicapped-accessible ramp may also be erected at the high school’s outdoor bleachers.
And the previously voter-approved $1.6 million roof replacement at the elementary school in Jeffersonville, plus a solar array, will go forward.
“We’ll be busier than hell at both schools this summer,” affirmed Hilton.
As for the rest of the plans, he isn’t sure what’s next.
“I think I need to spend some time digesting this and talking to the board,” Hilton said.
The next board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 7 at 7 p.m. in the high school library. It will include a budget worksession.

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