North Colonie voters approve the 2017-18 budget and capital project, re-elect D’Orazio to board of education
On Tuesday, May 16, North Colonie residents approved the district’s $107.2 million budget for 2017-18 by 3,116 yes votes to 1,054 no votes. Meanwhile, the district’s $106.3 million capital project passed by a tally of 2,992 yes votes to 1,158 no votes.
The school budget carries a tax levy increase of 2.47 percent, with an estimated tax rate increase of 0.94 percent, or $0.24 per $1,000 of assessed value. The district will set its final tax rate for the 2017-18 school year in August, based on final assessment figures as provided by the Town of Colonie.
In the Board of Education election, incumbent Paula D’Orazio was re-elected with 2,175 votes. Candidate Timothy J. O’Connor received 1,699 votes.
The 2017-18 school budget maintains all current educational priorities and provides additional support for special education and English as a New Language programs.
The capital project includes expansion and renovations at the elementary schools and the conversion of Shaker Junior High School to a 6-8 middle school to accommodate significant growth in enrollment, as well as security updates at all eight school buildings.
Highlights of the project:
- Moving the sixth grade to a re-branded Shaker Middle School, creating a fifth hall
- Enhanced security at the front entrances of every building
- Expanded library/media centers at all elementary schools
- New classrooms at Boght Hills to allow for an additional class section for each grade level, reducing class sizes district-wide
- Expanded parking and dedicated bus and parent drop-off loops at Shaker Middle and High Schools
- Addition of synthetic turf surface for Walker Field that allows for multipurpose use
With enhanced state aid of 69 percent aid, the resulting tax impact is estimated to be a 0.49 percent increase. This increase will take effect in the 2021-22 school year, and will be phased in over three years. At the highest point, the annual tax increase on a median assessed value home is estimated to be $21.32 with enhanced state aid.
“On behalf of the Board of Education and our administration, I thank the community for their ongoing support of our students and our families,” said Superintendent Joseph Corr. “I believe both the budget and the capital project will address the needs of our growing district. We are pleased that North Colonie residents voted in support of both initiatives.”