School District Votes To Appeal Dismissal Of Nuke Plant Pact Challenge

OSWEGO, NY – Following some lengthy committee meetings and another debate regarding the 2011-12 budget Tuesday night, the Oswego City School District board of education members convened for a brief meeting.

There were three items on the agenda.

Board members voted 6-0-1 on the first – a decision to appeal the state Supreme Court ruling that dismissed the district’s petition challenging the tax agreement with Nine Mile Point Unit I.

Board president Dave White was absent.

In early March, State Supreme Court Justice Hugh Gilbert dismissed the district’s petition.

According to Kevin C. Caraccioli, the town’s attorney, Justice Gilbert dismissed the petition stating, “It should not have been filed as a challenge to the assessment set by the Scriba Board of Assessment Review.”

The assessment can be challenged only in a tax grievance petition, the judge ruled.

The school district can’t use this procedure to challenge the assessment, he said, adding that only the property owner (Scriba) can file a tax grievance.

According to the district’s resolution, the board of education disagrees with Gilbert’s decision and authorizes its outside counsel, Paul T. Sheppard, “to file a notice of appeal.”

Last summer, the county, Scriba and the district negotiated a one-year tax deal Constellation Nuclear Energy Group, the owners of the power plant.

Scriba and the county approved it; the school district didn’t.

The district began the challenge in an attempt to receive more tax revenue from the plant than it would receive under the deal.

The Scriba Board of Assessment Review assessed the nuclear power plant at $280 million.

The school district claimed the plant’s assessed value was $600 million, according to a New Hampshire firm that specializes in appraising nuclear power plants.

The other two agenda items, both of which were approved Tuesday night, were filing of the budget for the school year 2011 – 2012 and proposition #1 (the 2011 – 2012 tentative budget) for the May 17 budget vote.

The budget proposal is $74, 744,748 and contains a  zero percent tax levy increase.

1 Comment

  1. I feel that the energy of the school board has changed in a positive direction. Fran Hoefer, John Dunsmoor and Sam Tripp have been especially excellent additions to the board over the past couple of years. I do also feel that Kathleen Allen is a good board member even though I do not always agree with her. Dave White is a bit sneaky but hasn’t been all too bad in the past year or two. The dynamic of the board is an extremely important factor. We do not need to go back to the days where boards catered to OCTA, or took their marching orders from whomever was the superintendent at the time.

    We have seen a few years with no major scandals, zero tax increases, and a teachers union that has made its first concession in school district history. Keep it going at election time folks! Let’s not go backward.

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