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Niskayuna seeks bonding for land buy

District officials say purchase would save over lease, March vote set

Niskayuna school district officials are asking voters to approve bonding $3.2 million to purchase a 27-acre property, which is where its transportation facility is located.

Niskayuna school district officials are asking voters to approve bonding $3.2 million to purchase a 27-acre property, which is where its transportation facility is located.

— A defunct water tower on the property holding cell phone antennas also would become part of the district’s revenue.

“It positions us well for the future,” Bourgeois said. “We could look to partner with other municipalities or other school districts to share services related to transportation or operations and maintenance.”

Under its current lease, the district isn’t responsible for maintaining the facility, so those undetermined costs would chip away at the savings. But Bourgeois said the district has “frequently” assisted the landlord with maintenance issues when the district wanted repairs to occur “a little more rapidly.”

Superintendent Susan Kay Salvaggio said containing costs would help the district focus funding on the classroom and programming.

“This purchase would save us money, immediately and over time, and has the potential to generate revenue for the district for many years,” Salvaggio said in a statement. “In addition to the savings and revenue possibilities, this purchase would secure for the district an ideal location and facility for our transportation operations for the long term.”

School board Vice President Debra Gordon said the public might scoff at a land buy in these times, so conveying the potential savings is important. She said district officials should make presentations at PTO meetings.

“I’m sure we’re going to get some questions from the community about a big purchase like this in dire budget times,” Gordon said.

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