BATAVIA – Batavia School District 101 will seek voter approval in November to borrow up to $15 million to fund capital improvements throughout the district, including potential improvements to the athletic fields at Batavia High School.
The Batavia School Board on Tuesday voted to place the question on the Nov. 4 general election ballot. Voting “no” were board members Jon Gaspar and Jason Stoops.
If approved, the district would issue up to $15 million in alternate revenue bonds to fund the projects. Assistant Superintendent for Finance Kris Monn said the proposal would not result in a tax increase because the district would pledge existing revenues against the bonds.
The board has until Aug. 18 to put the referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot. As proposed, the district would make payments of $1.2 million for 20 years.
“We do not have the authority to raise additional revenue for this type of bond,” Monn said.
Stoops said he would rather have a referendum next spring rather than in November.
“We as a board need to be better informed on what projects the money is earmarked for,” Stoops said.
Gaspar said he still had concerns about the proposed athletic field improvements.
“I’m not for the whole athletic field plan,” he said. “We should take our time and wait.”
The board still needs to decide specifically how the money will be spent.
There is a proposed $13.4 million master plan to improve the Batavia High School athletic fields, which includes the installation of a synthetic turf field and other improvements, such as boosting bleacher seating to 2,500 people from its current capacity of 1,500, a press box, a scoreboard and stadium lighting.
Board member Tina Bleakley said she would like to get direction from residents sooner rather than later.
“This is not a new topic to anyone in the community,” Bleakley said. “The community is going to have input in this. I’m for putting it on the ballot.”