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Election planned to fill board seat

East Aurora School District voters will be asked to elect a School Board member in a special election that also will seek their approval to build an athletic storage building and grounds maintenance facility at the high school.

The board tentatively has scheduled balloting for Jan. 29 to fill the remainder of the term of Steven Dechert, a longtime board member who has announced he will resign. His term ends in 2010.

"The board decided that instead of trying to solicit someone to be on the board, it would hold an election," School Superintendent James Bodziak said. "That way it opens it up to anyone in the community who is interested. They can get petitions and run."

The board is expected to finalize the special election date at its Dec. 12 meeting.

Dechert, who has served on the board for nine years, announced last month that he intended to resign to return to school in the spring. He also has been tapped to join the Roycroft Campus Corp.'s board of directors. As of last week, the district had not received a formal letter of resignation.

The district is launching $24 million in improvements, beginning with the renovation and expansion of Parkdale Elementary School.

The ballot will include a proposal to spend money from the district's capital reserve fund to help pay for an athletic storage and buildings and grounds facility on the high school campus on Center Street.

The actual cost of the facility has not been disclosed, but Bodziak said it would not increase property taxes because some of its cost would come from the capital reserve fund. Voter approval is required to use that money for the project.

The project, a joint venture between the district and Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board of Cooperative Educational Services, already has received $10,000 in seed money from the East Aurora Educational Foundation.

The district is seeking donations from other organizations, companies and businesses to reduce the cost of the project before it determines how much would be needed from reserve funds.


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