Voters reject part of Hilton CSD capital improvement plan

HILTON, N.Y. The Hilton Central School District is asking voters to approve two capital improvement project propositions with a total price tag of more than $127 million.

The superintendent says the projects are aimed at providing first-class facilities for students, staff and the community. These capital improvements would address some infrastructure issues at all five schools that focus on safety, energy efficiency and building maintenance, just to name a few.

Tuesday night, Proposition 1 was approved by a margin of 2,046-1,180. However, voters rejected Proposition 2, with 729 Yes votes and 2,506 No votes.

The first proposition is expected to cost over $37 million, but the district says it would have no impact on local taxpayers. This would include replacing things like fire alarm systems in all their buildings, updates to the cafeterias at Northwood and Village elementary schools and also replacing the air conditioning at Merton Williams Middle School. The district is also looking to use these funds to meet the state’s mandate of switching all their buses from gas or diesel to electric.

An additional proposition two, which voters struck down, intended to use $90 million to help pay for the creation of a performing arts center and space for both athletics and physical education. The average cost to taxpayers with a $200,000 home would have been about $19 per month.

Some voters in the district have been asking the school board how spending all this money is justifiable as the district is seeing a decline in student enrollment.

“We do believe that base of the student population is there,” said Assistant Superintendent Adam Geist. “We also believe that if we have a top-notch facility to go with top-notch education that more families will want to move into the district.”

Instead of voting at the high school, polls were open at Parma Town Hall, a new location this year.