Valley Central taxpayers voted down the district’s proposed $22.7 million bond referendum on Tuesday by a razor-thin margin of 30 votes, as residents declined to fund the district’s planned renovations to the High School-Middle School complex parking lot. The measure was defeated as 585 taxpayers voted against the proposal, while 555 voted in favor of it.
The vote was delayed for an hour on Tuesday morning as Town of Montgomery police investigated a terroristic threat that was phoned into the high school, where the voting was taking place. A Walden woman was arrested in connection with the call, and the voting resumed at approximately 11:45 a.m. and continued until 9: p.m.
The balloting arrived three months after taxpayers overwhelmingly voted to approve Valley Central’s 2019-2020 budget, but residents balked this week at the district’s proposed referendum package. The district had hoped to begin renovating the high school parking lot before the state Department of Transportation commences its planned work on Route 17K in the fall of 2020 to install at least one traffic light outside of the school complex.
The proposed $22.7 million package also included a pool dehumidification system for the high school pool, a concession stand and restroom facility near the football field and renovations to the Montgomery Elementary School parking lot. The district had weighed smaller referendum packages that would have focused on the parking lot renovations, but opted to present voters with a more robust proposal that included infrastructure upgrades throughout the district. Valley Central will now have to go back to the drawing board after voters rejected that plan by a tiny margin this week.
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