CLIFTON PARK — The Town Board on Monday approved a $1.1 million purchase of a 34-acre parcel of land owned by the Shenendehowa Central School District.
The parcel was the subject of an April referendum in which school district residents overwhelmingly rejected the district’s proposal to sell the land to BBL Construction for about $2 million.
Town Supervisor Phil Barrett invited the public to attend all upcoming planning meetings related to the land.
He also emphasized the importance of public input in deciding the land’s fate, noting that people came out in droves to vote in the April referendum.
“The public will speak again, and that’s the important part of the process,” Barrett said.
The town’s passage of the contract brings the land deal one step closer to a close, after months of negotiations between the town and the district’s board of education.
The land, which is undeveloped, is located off Maxwell Road, adjacent to Shatekon and Arongen elementary schools. It is heavily wooded. If the sale is approved by town voters, the land would only be used for public purposes, such as a park. New York State Education Law 405 stipulates that once the town owns the land, it’s prohibited from selling it for a non-public use.
The school district has owned the land for more than four decades. The school board is set to approve the contract at its Oct. 10 meeting, after a public comment session. The deal will then be put to a referendum on Dec. 5.
Board of Education President Bill Casey, speaking at the Town Board meeting, said that the recent negotiations have been the first step in what he hopes will be a long collaborative process between the two entities.
“What’s made a difference here is the public,” Casey said. “We’re proud to be a part of this and we think it’s the right thing for our community.”
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Categories: News, Schenectady County