Weekly Feature

2017-10-12 / Front Page

Iroquois willing to commit $590,000 to sports complex


The Iroquois Central Board of Education has made a decision on how to move forward with the proposed athletic turf facility.

According to board president Charles Specht, the issue will be voted on by the public in January 2018, with a potential tax impact.

This proposed facility would cost an estimated $6.6 million, with about 70 percent of the funding coming from the state. This complex would be used by the football, soccer, lacrosse, track and field and field hockey teams along with other community related activities.

With $500,000 raised by two private donors and an additional $100,000 raised by the Town of Elma, that leaves the remaining cost at roughly $1.49 million. The board announced that it is willing to commit $590,000 from district savings.

This means that the remaining $900,000 must be raised by private funding or by taxpayers, if the voters agree to a tax increase. If the full $900,000 is raised by the community, then there will be no tax increase, but Specht wants the voters to be aware of a potential tax increase and have them be the final say in this project.

“We certainly as a board do not want to put the school district in any kind of financial jeopardy,” Specht said. “We’re here to represent the community and the taxpayers.”

A new group called the “Iroquois Sports Complex Committee” was formed to help raise money in the efforts for this project. Penny Pennington, a representative of that committee, spoke at the Oct. 4 board meeting about the group and the alumni who could potentially help fund the project. She said that a progress update will be given at the next board meeting.

“I have heard from a ton of people who are in support of this and I’ve heard from plenty of people who don’t want to see taxes raised for a project,” Specht said. “I think it is up to us to allow our taxpayers to make that decision. I want our community members to be able to have a choice and let them be the ones to either vote for or against it.”

The board plans to have details of a referendum prepared for the next board meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 1. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Intermediate School Cafeteria, 2111 Girdle Road.

To learn more about the fundraising efforts, visit the “Iroquois Sports Complex” Facebook page. To learn more about other district related news, visit iroquoiscsd.org.

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