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BH-BL voters OK land buy and improvements

Two special referendums passed resoundingly at the polls in the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District Thursday, March 1.

In its first ever mid-winter vote, the district's board of education received approval to purchase a parcel of undeveloped land on Lakehill Road for a maximum of $98,000. The parcel at #3 Lakehill Road is approximately 4.6 acres and borders land the school district already owns for its bus garage and Stevens Elementary School.

The measure to buy the land was approved by 85 percent of district residents, or 777 votes in approval and 132 votes in disapproval.

Held on the eve of a projected ice storm, the oncoming weather may have been a factor in keeping large numbers of voters from the polls.

A total of 914 residents voted, including 31 who voted by absentee ballot, said district spokesperson Christy Multer. "This is significantly lower than our voter turnout in May. But it was the first time we held a late winter vote, and some of our residents are elderly. We had to get this to vote quickly in order to begin the construction this spring."

School Superintendent Jim Schultz told members of the public Tuesday night the land became unexpectedly available, and would help ease traffic snarls outside Stevens Elementary School.

"These 4.6 acres of land could be used as an exit onto Lakehill Road in the future," said Schultz. "We could have a separate egress for our buses."

District administrators are also in the process of selling unused land on Swaggertown Road. The 26 acres of mostly wetlands are listed at $75,000, and the district has already received a purchase offer. The $75,000 will be used to offset most of the costs of the land purchase near Stevens Elementary. Schultz said the remaining $15,000 will be included in the 2007-2008 district budget.

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