Lockport School Board delays adding proposed sale of Washington Hunt to May ballot - The Buffalo News

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Lockport School Board delays adding proposed sale of Washington Hunt to May ballot

LOCKPORT – The Lockport School Board took no action Wednesday on the question of placing the sale of the closed Washington Hunt Elementary School on the May 20 ballot.

The district is soliciting offers until March 28 for the school, which closed last June. The two-story, 33,200-square-foot building has been assessed at $195,000.

Board President John A. Linderman said the board decided not to place the proposition on the ballot until after the offers are in.

“We have received some nibbles,” he said.

Assistant Superintendent Deborah Coder said April 2 is the deadline to place nonbudget propositions on the ballot. Linderman said if none of the offers is satisfactory, the sale of the closed school won’t be placed on the May 20 ballot.

Any buyer would have to obtain a special-use permit or a rezoning to reuse the building, since it is located in a single-family residential zone on Rogers Avenue.

Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley has pledged that voters will go to the polls knowing who the proposed buyer is, what the sale price will be and what the plan for the school is.

Also on May 20, the district’s voters will consider an advisory proposition on whether they want to institute school tax exemptions for military veterans, effective with the September 2015 tax bills.

The board wanted to let the voters decide the question, but school attorney Jeffrey F. Swiatek said that was against the law, so the decision will be up to the board, which is free to follow or disregard the voters’ wishes.

If the veterans’ exemption had been in effect for the current school year, a veteran who owns a home assessed at $100,000 would have saved $350.

But a nonveteran who owns a $100,000 home would have paid $36.27 more.

Bradley told the board that she is unable to provide a final proposed budget until district-by-district state aid figures are available from Albany. The Assembly and Senate have passed differing budgets and horse-trading is underway.

Linderman said the board expects to adopt its proposed 2014-15 budget at its April 9 meeting.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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