Capital plans ‘big piece’ for city schools

Besides a budget vote, there also will be three capital projects for city school district voters to decide on May 21.

Dunkirk City School District voters will have a very full slate Tuesday, May 21, and Superintendent Michael Mansfield explained what they will be considering last week.

Speaking at a Board of Education meeting, Mansfield described the five propositions on the ballot.

The first proposition will be to pass the district’s $58,770,000 budget for the 2024-25 school year. It contains a 2% tax increase.

Proposition Two is what Mansfield called “the big piece” of the district’s capital project plans. It’s a wide-ranging, $53,545,000 project of various improvements around the district, including several small additions. Mansfield said it would not raise taxes.

Mansfield continued that the third proposition is to add turf and lighting to the baseball and softball fields, at a cost of $5,285,000. The project would also not raise district taxes, according to the superintendent. It’s dependent on Proposition Two results: if that gets voted down, Proposition Three is automatically out.

The fourth proposition is a district-wide “cooling project” to add air conditioning. That would lead to about a 1.2% hike in future property taxes, though Mansfield said “we are looking at opportunities” to cut that down with grants. It would cost $24,895,000 and can only go forward if both Propositions Two and Three pass.

The fifth and final proposition concerns the district’s sale of 88-92 East Fourth Street, a former reading room, for $160,000. The Board of Education evidently considers the public vote a formality — it approved selling the site to BestSelf Behavioral Health last year. The clinic has opened an outpatient facility there, which does not dispense drugs, its officials said.

Voting on the propositions is Tuesday, May 21 from noon to 9 p.m. at the high school auxiliary gym. Any U.S. citizen 18 years of age or older who has resided in the district for at least 30 days is eligible to vote.


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