Clarkstown school district voters OK bond issue in record turnout
BY BILL DEMAREST
CONGERS – Anxious Congers residents who have been fighting to save their local elementary were relieved last Tuesday night when a Clarkstown school district public vote overwhelmingly approved a $6.5 million bond issue to repair the aging Congers Elementary School.
The school has been closed since structural problems were discovered just before the start of the 2013-2014 school year and children from Congers have been attending classes at the former St. Augustine’s School on Main Street in New City. The financing approved by voters 3,411-2,362 will allow the district to repair Congers Elementary.
Clarkstown school district residents in Congers came out in force to support the bond issue, with 2,126 voters who went to the polls at Lakewood Elementary School in Congers voting to approved the financing – with just 127 voters going against the plan. The proposal, however, was not universally supported throughout the district.
At the three other polling places – Clarkstown North High School, Link Elementary and West Nyack Elementary – voters did not rally behind the plan. In each of those three voting districts, voters sided against the proposal. But the turnout in the Congers area pushed the measure over the top.
The Clarkstown school board was scheduled to meet at 10 p.m. Tuesday to reveal the results of the balloting and a small group of residents gathered at the district’s headquarters in New City to hear the fate of Congers Elementary. With the volume of voting in Congers, results coming in from that area were about an hour late – leaving local residents gathered to hear the results anxious as they nervously awaited for the results.
Within a few minutes of the bag of results coming in, Superintendent J. Thomas Morton gathered school board members and residents to reveal he results. He listed balloting district-by-district, finally revealing that the bond plan was approved.