SEVERE WX : Flash Flood Watch View Alerts

Westmoreland capital project defeated in public vote

WESTMORELAND, N.Y.-- The Bulldogs will have to wait a little longer for a new turf field.

Posted: Feb 8, 2018 11:19 PM

WESTMORELAND, N.Y.-- The Bulldogs will have to wait a little longer for a new turf field.

Taxpayers in Westmoreland voted to defeat the school district's capital project vote Thursday night, in a 157-317 decision.

The $4 million dollar project would have funded upgrades to the school's 1939 fire alarm system, bus garage and boilers. It also would have covered the cost of a new wheelchair elevator for a wing of the high school.

More expensive than any of those upgrades was the part of the project people objected to the most: replacing the grass football field with artificial turf and installing new lights, to the tune of $1.7 million dollars.

The field's proximity to the town's water supply prompted contamination concerns for some taxpayers, due to the chemicals associated with turf plastic and rubber.

"No one really knows the long-term effects," Deb Odell, a voter said.

"We've had a lot of residents come to us and say they're concerned, obviously for the hazards, especially the people that are in the water district," Kenneth Eisnor, Westmoreland Town Supervisor said. "You see, the aquifer that's directly underneath the field, I don't know if there's any possible way to drain off all that potential hazard that could go into the water."

Though school officials claimed the turf would reduce maintenance costs in the long term, voters felt the investment was too pricey compared to other portions of the project.

"A field would be nice, but I don't believe they needed it at this point," Gerry Schaller, a taxpayer said. "There's a lot of things that need to be fixed. I think they would have easily got a 'yes' if they would have separated them out."

Other voters agreed the New York State Department of Education's packaging the fixes into one project ultimately soured the vote.

"I don't like it that way," said taxpayer Glenn Dykstra. "We need the maintenance, we need the boilers,  we need that stuff, but some things we don't need, and it should have been done separate."

"Everybody wants and needs those things, but no one wants the turf or the lights," Odell said.

School officials can resubmit an amended version of the project to the Department of Education for funding in the future. 

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 416298

Reported Deaths: 32710
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City22572323541
Suffolk433451997
Nassau433222194
Westchester359981446
Rockland13882674
Orange11093489
Erie8572669
Monroe4768277
Dutchess4520153
Onondaga3485200
Albany2521126
Oneida2087112
Ulster202891
Sullivan148348
Niagara144698
Putnam142863
Broome105464
Schenectady103537
Rensselaer73630
Saratoga73217
Columbia52237
Madison40017
Ontario34934
Warren30033
Orleans29554
Steuben29242
Greene28918
Fulton28324
Genesee2725
St. Lawrence2624
Washington25514
Oswego2463
Wayne2463
Herkimer2414
Chautauqua2329
Tompkins2300
Chenango2116
Tioga18925
Livingston1678
Chemung1633
Cattaraugus1596
Montgomery1574
Cayuga1482
Jefferson1340
Clinton1274
Otsego1125
Wyoming1125
Delaware1034
Cortland920
Seneca863
Allegany741
Schoharie680
Essex550
Yates557
Franklin500
Lewis350
Schuyler220
Hamilton70
Unassigned00
Utica
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 67°
Oneonta
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Herkimer
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 67°
Thendara
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 67°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Ask EPLC Sweepstakes
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left