By Frank Rizzo
LIVINGSTON MANOR On Tuesday, Livingston Manor Central School district voters rejected two proposed resolutions that would have made what district leaders said were much-needed improvements to the 73-year-old school building.
Proposition 1, a $6.922 million capital project, went down 235-65.
Proposition 2, in which the district would use up to $2 million from the capital reserve fund for immediate improvements, was rejected 195-109.
Superintendent of Schools Deborah Fox had noted before the vote that state building aid would finance about 68.8 percent of the project and the annual debt service would not rise.
“The Livingston Manor Central School board and administration were disappointed the Capital Project referendums were defeated. I think people were concerned about the economy and the solvency of the state,” said Fox, in reference to the state building aid.
“The building climate is very positive right now as far as bidding, and the interest rates are low,” said Fox, noting that the state’s building aid rates and interest rates on bonds could change for the worse.
Fox cited the plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems as needing immediate attention.
“The electrical system was not built for the demands of today’s instructional technology computers and smartboards,” Fox noted.
“There are various options the board could consider going forward,” she said. “For example, they could wait to put out another referendum for a period of time though that would postpone addressing the outdated systems and failing infrastructure. They could represent the referendum to use funds from the capital reserve savings fund to address prioritized critical needs. It would not be my recommendation to put the same $6.9 million referendum out for another vote in light of the overwhelming defeat by the residents. However, the other option the board could consider would be to scale back the overall proposed capital project and re-present in the near future. I expect the various options would be reviewed by the board at their upcoming meeting on December 19.”