March 5, 2013

ELCS vote today on capital projects


---- — ELIZABETHTOWN — Voters go to the polls today to decide whether to approve two Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School renovation projects.

Proposition 1, which totals $341,293, would have no tax implications to ELCS property owners, as it would be paid for by state building aid and $114,000 in EXCEL funds.

A second proposition requires local taxpayer funding for 33 percent of the work, which would translate to 4 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value for 16 years. 

That would amount to $3.20 a year on an $80,000 property.

The vote takes place from noon to 8 p.m. in the main lobby of the school.


At a recent public hearing on the projects, ELCS Superintendent Scott Osborne said he remembered a leaky roof at the school back in 2007, when he was principal there.

The roof continued deteriorating, and, according to the district website, rainwater made its way into the building in September 2012, disrupting classes and causing other issues.

Last year, Osborne said, interim Superintendent Paul Scott started the ball rolling to plan major roof work.

He worked with architect John McKenna, who, the superintendent said, told him the school’s roof, with a lifetime of two decades, was then 25 years old. Osborne said the district’s state EXCEL funds were awarded in 2006 but not used.

Along with the roof, Proposition 1 includes replacing a water heater that is older than 20 years, along with the circulation pumps; re-pointing of the chimney due to cracks; and repair of plumbing and hardware replacement in the old elementary and upstairs restrooms.


If Proposition 2 passes, carpet and floor tiles will be torn out in the elementary classrooms; that would would require asbestos abatement due to the materials used in the tiles.

Resident Joe Martin spoke up at the hearing, expressing concern over the tax increase that would come with that work, especially for those on fixed incomes.

“I looked at the hallway, which is tile,” he said. “Why not put a snap-together tile with a soft sub-base and not take the carpet out of the rooms?”

Osborne said the reason for the complete removal was the carpet may have problems other than wear, as many of the classrooms had experienced flooding, and they have no idea what substances may have remained after the water subsided.

See details on the proposed projects at

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