Waterville residents pass $8 million capital improvement project


WATERVILLE, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Residents voted in favor of the $8 million capital project for the Waterville School District Tuesday night.

School officials said the turnout exceeded their expectations with 173 residents voting yes, 136 voting no.

School officials are very excited residents passed the project, especially because part of the money will be used to replace security cameras and install intruder safety locks which has become a major priority in light of recent school shootings nationwide.

The money will also go towards making bathrooms handicap accessible. The elementary school will get a new roof and improved student drop-off area. Changes will also be made to the Jr./Sr. high school entrance to increase safety.

Residents came out to the high school right up until voting closed at 8 p.m. Some parents with young children say they voted to ensure a better future for their kids. Some retired residents voted against the project due to the tax increase they face.

Residents with a home valued at $50,000 will pay $12 extra in taxes a year for 18 years. But, the state is also paying 85 cents of every dollar spent on these projects.

The superintendent of the Waterville School District, Charles Chafee, said that's saving them from having a very difficult discussion.

"We're sitting in a board meeting right now looking at how we can make our ends meet with revenues that are $1.2 million less than expenses. We're taking some money out of this reserve, we're cutting a little bit here, a little bit here. But, if we had to buy a roof, if we had to do security, that would have come out of kids' programs and we'd be talking about cutting sports, we'd talk about cutting academics, cutting AP classes. Right now we don't have to have those conversations for at least another year," said Chafee.

Construction is expected to start in the summer of 2015.

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