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Hammondsport school board 04/08/09

Meeting:  The Hammondsport Central School Board of Education met April 8, for two hours and 20 minutes, plus a 35 minute executive session.
Attendance: The full board was present, plus school officials and an audience of 31.
Action: Approved the 2009/10 budget proposal totaling expenditures of $12,072,349. Superintendent Dr. Kyle Bower reported that this total is a $38,497 increase from the current year, but that approximately $2.5 million  had been reduced over the past three or four years.
• Approved proposing a 10-year Capital Reserve Fund not exceeding one million dollars, with no additional tax levy impact, mainly to deal with needed work on roofs and water systems.
• The board approved a $327,000 contract to Streeter Associates for work on asbestos abatement, card-swipe system, and bus loop sidewalk.
Discussion Without Action: Bower reported that fourth-grade students will be retained in the Main Street School in September, and that all classes would be at Main Street (ending classes in the 1935 Curtiss School) as of September, 2010. Responding to a resident’s question as to when voters had approved closing the Curtiss School, Bower and board president Jim Zimar stated that it was within the board’s legal purview to close or even to sell school buildings. Bower further said that at current no tenants or purchasers were in view for the Curtiss School. A question has been raised as to whether the original deed of gift from Lena Curtiss Wheeler required the property always to be used for educational purposes, or prevented the school from disposing of the property. Bower said that the deed was being legally reviewed with due diligence, and would be adjudicated should that become necessary.
• Several residents raised questions on busing policy and practices, including why buses were operating with what they perceived as few riders. Bower stated that buses would only be full near the beginnings of their homeward routes, or near the ends of their school-bound routes. He said that two bus routes were being eliminated in September. Bower also reported that it would be possible to pack the buses more fully, but that this would require students being on the bus for over an hour, and being picked up before 6:30 a.m.
Upcoming meetings:  The next regular board meeting is Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. and will include the BOCES vote.
 



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