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Voters to consider $3.9 million plan

City School District voters will decide Tuesday whether to proceed with $3.9 million in improvements at three athletic fields and a 60-year-old stadium, with no immediate cost to taxpayers.

Close to half the money will go toward upgrading Van Detta Stadium and Woodward Field, site of Batavia High School football, where a grass surface would be replaced with artificial turf at a cost of $1.7 million.

The stadium work includes meeting safety codes, improving handicapped accessibility and accommodating boys and girls in locker rooms.

Other work is slated for softball fields at the high school and John F. Kennedy Elementary School, at an estimated cost of about $400,000. The high school work will include new energy-efficient lighting, dugouts, a scoreboard and fencing.

Scott C. Rozanski, district business manager, said state aid would cover 80 percent of the projects. The balance will come from the district's capital projects reserve. Property owners would not face any added levies for five years, when the building reserve would have to be replenished. That, Rozanski said, would cost about 14 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation, up to $12 per year for an average residence.

The district's 2010-11 budget of $39.9 million brought a 1.23 percent increase in property taxes. Eighty percent of the budget goes for union-negotiated staff salaries and benefits.

If the state budget cuts school aid, Batavia will lose $1.4 million in a tentative spending plan of more than $40 million.

Voting Tuesday will be from noon to 9 p.m. at the Junior High and Jackson and Robert Morris schools.

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