‘No’ vote means no compressor station benefit in Eldred

By SUSAN WADE
Posted 6/2/20

ELDRED, NY — Imploring the public to vote to approve a 3.25 percent increase in taxes, Eldred Central School District Superintendent Dr. John Morgano stated at the May 28 school board meeting …

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‘No’ vote means no compressor station benefit in Eldred

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ELDRED, NY — Imploring the public to vote to approve a 3.25 percent increase in taxes, Eldred Central School District Superintendent Dr. John Morgano stated at the May 28 school board meeting that “you won’t recognize Eldred if the budget fails.” 

The administration calculated that risk is $3 million in revenues attributable to the effect of the Millennium Compressor Station. This results from not being able to reap the tax benefits of including the compressor station in the tax base while simultaneously increasing the district’s “land wealth,” which is a component in the state aid calculation. This would decrease the amount of state aid awarded to the district. 

If the budget does not pass, the amount of taxes that could be raised would be capped at the current year level. 

This comes on top of already expected decreases of up to 30 percent in state aid due to the state’s fiscal crisis. The governor has the ability to make further cuts to state aid on a quarterly basis. 

The proposed budget reflects the expected decreases in aid. 

Under normal conditions, in the case of a defeated budget, the district would retool its budget and offer a revised set of numbers for a second vote. However, given that school budget votes have been delayed state-wide, this could only occur if the governor mandates it. Budgets are supposed to be in place effective July 1. 

Throughout the state, the school budget vote will occur only through mail-in ballots, which must be in the hands of the school district by 5 p.m. on June 9. Postage paid envelopes were provided with each ballot, but they can also be hand-delivered to the district office. The administration fielded questions regarding the confidentiality of the individual votes and stated that they have a legal mandate to ensure confidentiality. 

The district intends to proceed with a graduation ceremony for the 2020 seniors on Friday, June 26 at the Yulan Ball Field. The plan has to be approved by the county department of health to assure it adheres to social distancing and other edicts from the state. Morgano said that he did not anticipate a problem in obtaining such approval. 

He also stated that preparations are being made in anticipation of schools opening in September, incorporating alternate-day sessions with video instruction when the student is not on site. Special education and vocational students will attend each day. Morgano said that special education individual education plans (IEPs) cannot be deviated from. 

Preceding the regular board meeting was a “meet the candidate” session. Nancie Davis is running unopposed for the open position. Davis has had two children graduate and one child currently in the district.

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