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West Valley Central School Pre-annexation Study on Schedule

By Rich Place

A presentation outlining the results of the pre-annexation study by Castallo & Silky LLC is expected to take place sometime in early spring, West Valley Superintendent Eric Lawton told the West Valley School Board of Education at its Monday meeting.

A date is not yet formalized, but Lawton said Dr. William Silky informed him the findings are expected to be completed in a report by mid-March. From there, the information will likely be presented to the West Valley and Springville-Griffith Institute school boards.

He said Silky offered to conduct one single joint presentation with West Valley and Springville or do two separate presentations, and board members informally agreed two separate presentations would be recommended at this point in the study.

It was not mentioned during the school board meeting to include Ellicottville Central School, of which some information was gathered as part of the study.

“They expressed they weren’t really interested in doing an annexation at this time,” Lawton said following the school board meeting. “I didn’t want to put it out there and upset anybody if they’re not interested but, at the same time, we’d be willing to do a presentation for them.”

Also at the meeting on Monday, school business official Ann O’Brien provided the board’s first look at budget planning for the 2018-19 school year. She guided them through the budgeted and projected revenues for this year as well as the general support section of the budget.

She did not highlight any substantial surprises, with the general fund revenue up about $100,000 compared to what was budgeted in the current spending plan. So far, O’Brien has budgeted in the 2018-19 budget about $55,700 in additional aid compared to the current year but stressed it’s still early.

She also informed the board that the 2018-19 budget will be the final spending plan the district will receive a PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) payment for the Ashford Office Complex.

“That is going to go on the tax rolls,” she said, noting the assessed value of the property is $1.78 million.

The PILOT payment is scheduled to be $47,495 next school year, O’Brien said. When asked by board president Stephen Kowalski, she said a ballpark figure for anticipated taxes is $65,000. However, because they are on different budget line items, that doesn’t mean the figures offset.

“If you were to keep tax levy at zero next year you are not going to make up that $50,000,” she said, later adding, “again, those are conversations that we’ll have next year. It will not impact the 2018-19 budget.”

IN OTHER business at the meeting, Lawton asked the school board for permission to offer the school’s property as a location for the Western New York Dairy and Agricultural Festival after it was learned the event was scheduled to be canceled.

“I thought maybe — we have a beautiful facility here — if it could work for them and maybe get some people here to look at our beautiful facility, I thought it might be a win-win situation,” he told the board.

Although the board gave the go-ahead to look into the idea, festival chairman Joan Taylor the following morning declined the offer because of the lack of time and coordination needed to move the festival there.

The school board also learned from principal Dan Amodeo that 30 students are participating in this year’s musical, which is scheduled for March 23 and 24. He also said the school on March 1 will be hosting presentations on bullying to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. On that same day, students in grades 6-12 will attend a presentation from two Holocaust survivors.

“It’s something our students can really get exposed to and get that experience firsthand of hearing from some Holocaust survivors,” he said.

The next meeting of the West Valley School Board of Education is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, March 12 in the school library.

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