LAKE?PLACID?— The Lake Placid Central School District Board of Education voted Tuesday to approve a tax rate of $6.13 per thousand in the Town of North Elba and Wilmington.
According to business administrator Leonard Sauers the district had guessed it would be lower.
“Originally we had it at $5.94,” he said. “That’s what the assessor had at the time.”
According to Sauers The increase reflects the fact that property assessments in Wilmington and the Town of North Elba came in lower than what was projected when the budget was passed.
The state budget adopted earlier this month includes a 5 percent, or $1.4 billion, cut in school aid in 2010-11, leaving $21 million coming to the North County, according to superintendent Randy Richards.
Sauers said the district had planned on receiving $128,300 from the state, and was hopeful they will still receive it.
But Richards said he was remaining “guardingly optimistic.”
“We’re just going to have to keep our fingers crossed here,” he said. “We’re waiting and hopefully the state will come through. I wasn’t here, but I know you had a very difficult budget season this year.”
Village tennis courts
During Tuesday night’s meeting the board discussed a project that has been in the works between the Village of Lake Placid and the Lake Placid Central School District for roughly four years — fixing up the tennis courts next to the village beach.
High school tennis coach Randy Quayle attended the meeting to ask the school board for an update.
“The village board basically said the ball is in your court,” Quayle said. “So we’re wondering where things are at.”
In 2007 the school district was left a bequest of roughly $110,000 to be used toward creating new tennis courts.
According to Mayor Craig Randall, the school district, not having a suitable location or enough funds to build new tennis courts, came to the village, asking that the money be allocated for the repair and addition of one court to the village tennis courts downtown.
“Basically what we didn’t have a year ago, and until earlier this summer we still didn’t have, was what the cost of the replacement would be,” Randall said.
According to Randall the village had their engineer work on the project last winter, and after requesting bids determined it would cost roughly $250,000.
The school would allocate $110,000, a private donation would cover roughly $70,000 and, according to Randall, the village has agreed to pay for the remaining 25 percent or $70,000.
“My board and I feel that this is a good investment,” Randall said. “At this point we’ve gone as far as we can.”
According to Superintendent Randy Richards, the district is currently in discussion with its lawyers.
“Right now we are trying to determine whether we can put this money foward without going to a public vote,” Richards said. “It’s an issue that came up in the past, and we’re just not sure right now, but we’re very committed to seeing this project through.”
Richards said the district would look into the issue and have an answer by the next school board meeting on Sept. 7.
“We’re very much in favor of this project,” Richards said.
Randall said the issue now is the “construction timeline,” and said it was likely the project wouldn’t start until next year.
“I think everyone is on board with this,” Randall said. “We had hoped things would have started sooner ... but this is a good opportunity for the community and for the school. Have you played on those courts? They’re growing grass at this point.”