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Valhalla Community Passes Propositions On Building Sale, Reserve Funds

Valhalla Union Free School District approves vote to sell the Columbus Avenue building and adjoining parking lot to Easter Seals New York.
Valhalla Union Free School District approves vote to sell the Columbus Avenue building and adjoining parking lot to Easter Seals New York. Photo Credit: Contributed by Valhalla UFSD/SWBOCES

VALHALLA, N.Y. -- The Valhalla Union Free School District community passed two propositions Tuesday night regarding the sale of the Columbus Avenue building and the creation of a new reserve fund to store the money.

On Tuesday, Sept. 16, nearly 360 voters turned out to express their opinions about the district’s three propositions. “I’d like to thank the community and the district for approving these propositions, for getting involved and for staying involved,” said school board member James Adams.

The first proposition – regarding the sale of district property to the Easter Seals of New York – passed by a vote of 303 to 55. The Columbus Avenue building and adjoining parking lot will be sold to Easter Seals of New York in the next few months for $2.2 million. The district stopped using the building as an instructional space following the creation of the Kensico School in 2002. Easter Seals has leased the building from Valhalla for more than 10 years, and offers pre-school and after-school programs to local school children. “The sale of the Columbus Avenue building is a great opportunity for the district and the community,” said Valhalla Superintendent Brenda Myers. “It’s great having the Easter Seals as a permanent part of our community. They are a great service to our school district.” The second proposition also passed – by a vote of 285 to 62 – allowing the district to open a new Capital Reserve Fund to deposit the money from the sale. The $2.2 million will be used for future district-wide renovations, repairs and construction. This money will allow the district to perform improvements without burdening taxpayers or borrowing money.

“This gives us a great opportunity to plan for the capital needs of the district and to use those resources to continue to enhance the facilities in the future,” said Myers. “The reserve fund is a great idea because it’s something that this school district hasn’t done for about a decade,” said Adams. “We need to keep up with our maintenance and do it little by little – any small bit counts. It will help us with our long-range planning.” The third proposition was an advisory proposition on the Alternative Veterans’ Tax Exemption, which discussed the possibility of offering veterans a similar exemption to what municipalities currently offer. The advisory proposition simply discussed the viewpoints of residents; 234 voters were in favor of the veterans' tax exemption, with 80 opposing it.

The Valhalla School Board will discuss the option and make its decision sometime during the 2014-2015 academic year.

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