SARANAC — Saranac Central School residents will decide on a capital project that has little to no impact on taxes.
School officials will utilize federal grant money and state aid to cover the majority, possibly all of the $5.4-million project, which voters will decide on Dec. 13, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Middle School gymnasium.
“To literally tell taxpayers it will have absolutely no impact, that would require a crystal ball,” said Saranac Central School Superintendent Kenneth Cringle. “But there should be little to no impact on taxpayers.”
State aid will cover 90 percent of the project’s cost. The district also received a $583,878 EXCEL grant to cover most, if not all of remaining costs.
“Normally that would be left to a local effort, but the EXCEL grant will offset that,” Cringle said.
That means the project would likely have no impact on local taxes, he said.
The project falls under three major categories: Energy, health and safety, with a few items for external repair and maintenance.
The project includes work in every district building. Specifically, replacing aging heating systems, doors and windows that in some instances are beyond repair.
“In the past year we have had to have emergency projects to replace boilers, and that is not as cost effective and efficient,” Cringle said. “Those are items that we have to put in, and we have to use money from the general fund, and we are not getting as much aid, so it is not as cost effective.”
“And even though we were able to replace boilers, the existing heating system is still attached to them and needs to be replaced so we can properly and efficiently heat the buildings.”
More often than not, district buildings fluctuate from hot to cold, while the windows at Saranac Elementary School have not been replaced since the structure was built in the 1960s.