I am very pleased to announce that a $400,000 grant application intended to support a municipal share by the Otselic Valley Central School District and the Town of Georgetown has been fully funded. District and community leaders have been working with Mr. Pete Walrod, Town Supervisor of Georgetown, and others to realize a vision: a shared facility that will serve as a transportation facility for the district AND a highway facility for the Town.
This significant award from the New York Department of State Local Government Efficiency Program will be provided through the New York Regional Economic Development Councils.
With these funds, the transportation bays at the Georgetown school can now be repurposed to allow shared use. The district will be equipped to bring transportation services fully back in house following 7 years of outsourcing this work to the Sherburne-Earlville School District, to whom we extend our thanks.
The Town of Georgetown will have a much needed modern, accommodating highway garage away from the flood plain. Savings to Georgetown are estimated at over $5M which would have been needed for construction of a new highway garage including land purchase, site work, and the actual build.
This municipal share, which at the moment will be confined to the transportation part of the now vacant Georgetown campus, will provide a new office, toilet room, and efficient heating, plumbing, and electrical maintenance and upgrades.
It is anticipated that the $400,000 grant award will offset approximately 70% of the capital project phase 2 work proposed for the Georgetown facility, which will go before district voters in May 2020.
Phase 1 was made possible through the $1.6M referendum that voters approved November 2019. It provides for underground fuel tank removal at Georgetown, security upgrades, and a generator for the South Otselic school campus.
Phase 1 work is expected to begin spring/summer 2020. Pending voter authorization, phase 2 is expected to begin fall/winter 2020.
The Georgetown school was originally repurposed from elementary school to transportation facility as part of an earlier $17M referendum approved by voters in 2011. That project was never fully realized
but through the efforts of stakeholders committed to exploring municipal shares, the district and the Town of Georgetown are together bringing the prior plan to fruition, and enhancing it.
This important opportunity is made possible because of the vision of many. Our thanks are extended to Mr. Walrod, the Georgetown Town Board, Otselic Valley Board of Education, the Facilities Committee, and other community leaders (specifically Otselic Valley Town Supervisor Marge Davis, and representatives from the American Legion and the South Otselic Fire Department) for embracing this vision. Appreciation is also extended to Ms. Lauren Lines of Cazenovia, whose successful grant writing services were contracted by the district.
We want to thank again the Otselic Valley Central School District voters, 76% of whom voted Yes in the November 2019 referendum for phase 1 of this project. Voter support successfully positioned the district and our wider community for this new opportunity.
As the district explores good stewardship and community responsibility through other municipal shares, we will keep seeking grant funding for additional partnerships. If a community center, a veterans services location, or some other opportunity becomes possible and prudent, I’m confident our community will work together to make it happen.
Mr. Robert G. Berson
Superintendent of Schools
Otselic Valley Central School District