Budget, Buses and School Improvement on Oswego School Voting Ballot; Four Seek Two Board of Education Seats

Oswego City School District voters will be casting their ballots for the budget, the purchase of 10 new buses and a $15 million school improvement capital project when they go to the polls on Tuesday.

This year the district voters will also be electing two members to the Oswego City School District Board of Education as seeking seats are Thomas DeCastro, Sean Madden, Lynda Sereno and Francis Zaryski.

The $76.6 million proposed budget will preserve appropriate staffing levels, support board and district goals, address the health and safety of students and staff, provide efficient operations and the responsible use of the appropriated fund balance.”

At the same time the board desired to be responsible to the taxpayers and as a result the assessed tax rate per thousand is calculated to be $18.85 compared to $19.15 per thousand last year. This would be a reduction of approximately $21 a year for a home with the basic STAR exemption of $100,000 value.

The school improvement capital project would be a continuation of the 2007 EXCEL project which focuses on health, safety and maintaining the integrity of the district buildings.  The voter approved $48.2 million capital project approved in 2007 is nearing a completion.

However, prior to that project being undertaken a community committee prioritized the long-range needs for school district facilities.

The priorities were ranked from one through four with the “ones” being those in need of immediate attention. However, since 2007 the “twos and threes” now need addressing.

This proposed capital project referendum would involve the following:

Oswego High School-Roof replacement, flooring replacement and repair, flashing and masonry repair. ($2,980,700)

Frederick Leighton Elementary School-Roof replacement and air conditioning for 29 classrooms and the main office. ($1,933,600)

Charles E. Riley Elementary School-Roof replacement, air conditioning in 34 classrooms and flooring repairs. ($2,130,300)

Minetto Elementary School-Roof replacement, heating-ventilation units for eight classrooms, and asbestos removal. ($1,106,600)

Oswego Middle School-Security cameras ($40,000), tennis court reconstruction ($500,000), bleacher reconstruction ($450,000) and lights ($175,000) at the athletic field. ($1,165,000)

The additional financial requirements of the capital project would involve the necessary expenses for architectural and construction as well as to provide for any cost overruns that might occur.

It is anticipated the taxpayer cost for the school improvement proposition would be just over $12 per year.

Polls in the Oswego City School District will be open from noon – 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

Voting will be at the McCrobie Building (First Ward), Fitzhugh Park Elementary School (Second Ward), Frederick Leighton Elementary School (Third Ward), Education Center (Fourth Ward), Kingsford Park Elementary School (Fifth Ward), Charles E. Riley Elementary School (Sixth Ward), Oswego Middle School gym (Seventh Ward), Minetto Elementary School kindergarten suite, Town of Oswego Hall and Scriba Fire Station.

Information and videos regarding the budget and propositions are available at www.oswego.org

Anyone seeking further information should contact Bill Foley the District Clerk at 341-2020 or at [email protected]