Community rejects Lansing Central School District’s proposed $23 million capital project
LANSING, NY—On Tuesday, 18% of the active voting population in Lansing turned out to vote on two capital projects proposed by the Lansing Central School District (LCSD) for 2022, which would cost $25.8 million.
The two projects are the Non-Pipeline Alternative (NPA) project, which addresses the moratorium on production of any new natural gas that has existed in Lansing since 2017. Because of the moratorium, New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) issued a request for proposal for non-pipeline alternatives that would reduce current natural gas in Lansing, according to LCSD.
Lansing High School is the largest user of natural gas in the county, and the HVAC update will reduce the need for natural gas to heat and cool the school.
The proposed timeline includes designs being submitted to NYSEG in April 2023 and approval in August before construction bids are awarded in October. Plans include a construction start date of June 2024.
The project budget totals $3.1 million, with a NYSEG award of $710,437 for the project.
The NPA project passed with 509 “Yes” votes and 495 “No” votes.
The second and by far the largest of the proposed capital projects was the BOBCAT Project, which failed with 634 “No” votes and 368 “Yes” votes. The project included athletic facility updates, roof replacements and infrastructure updates at the elementary, middle and high schools.
Details were presented at a school board meeting on Oct. 24 detailing the specifics, which included replacing the baseball field pits, replacing the track plus adding two lanes, new synthetic turf to replace the current natural turf on the track .
After Tuesday’s vote, LCSD posted an update on Facebook with the results, saying, “There appears to be misunderstanding regarding the current state of our athletic facilities as well as the capital projects process. Additionally, we will provide the community with greater detail regarding the financial impact of the BOBCAT project.”
Additionally, the post went on to say that the district was “experiencing very low levels of engagement” and is grateful for “renewed engagement” as capital improvement planning moves forward.
In addition to capital projects, the proposed 2022–23 budget estimates a tax rate of $20.98, which is down 0.42% from the 2021–22 school year, and an overall budget of $34,048,725.
Of that $34 million, federal and state aid contribute $30,000 (0.09%) and $10.6 million (31.22%), respectively. Miscellaneous and reserve/fund balance accounted for 2.87% of a total of $975,500, leaving the remaining $22.4 million (65.83%) for the tax levy.
For the sake of comparison, the 2020–21 and 2021–22 budgets totaled $31,554,110 and $32,408,881, respectively.
Despite the large request for the 2022–2023 capital project, the budgeted amount in the draft spending summary lists $4,938,184, or 14.50%, which was similar to the previous two school years which landed somewhere between 14.05 and 14, 61%.