GOWANDA: Getting tough on proposal

Ho-hum.

That is usually the passionless attitude of voters when capital projects are proposed for school districts. Years ago, Brocton did a $16-million building plan. Ho-hum, it passes with barely any care for the district of around 560 students.

Forestville did the same thing when it did upgrades of more than $10 million, with a major piece of an auditorium. Ho-hum, the state is picking up 85 percent to 90 percent of the cost, for the school with a current enrollment of 469.

It seems much of our area likes bigger buildings with less people.

Gowanda residents, however, have shown in the past year it will not sit back and vote yes. The $41.5 million proposed capital project is facing opposition from community and business leaders. They question the costs for projects inside the building as well as those on the exterior.

“The school board did not do their homework. They are listening to someone else,” taxpayer in Gowanda and advocate against the project Janet Vogtli said. “The superintendent is pushing this project through and the school board followed him and now with the community starting to ask questions, everything that was brought up tonight, the school board can’t even give us an explanation to any of the (parts of the) project. It’s very sad.”

What’s really “sad” is how so many of these capital projects are approved with little resistance — at taxpayer expense. At least some are questioning a deal that always seems too good to be true.

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