Ken-Ton District Passes Cost Savings Measures

April 3, 2012 Updated Apr 3, 2012 at 11:23 PM EDT

By Allen Leight

April 3, 2012 Updated Apr 3, 2012 at 11:23 PM EDT

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, NY (WKBW) - Voters in the Kenmore-Tonawanda school district overwhelmingly passed a pair of resolutions that will help cut into the districts massive budget gap.

Ken-Ton schools currently have a budget deficit of about $12.5 million, and the two propositions passed Tuesday will close that by an estimated $1.3 million.

The first proposition cleared the way for the district to sell the Green Acres school building for a minimum of $850,000. The district would retain most of the athletic fields and green space around the building.

The second proposition allows the district to increase minimum distance from schools for bus pick-up, meaning more kids would be forced to walk to school.

"Maybe it will be good for children to walk a little further to school though. That might be good exercise for them," said Wayne Alt, a Town of Tonawanda resident who voted in favor of both propositions.

The minimum distance for students grades K-5 increases from 0 to .5 miles.

Grades 6-8 increases from 1.2 to 1.5 miles.

Grades 9-12 increases from 1.5 to 1.8 miles.

“The community was heavily involved in making critically important decisions that helped us close this massive budget gap. Our district was open, honest, and transparent in our budget process," said district Superintendent Mark P. Mondanaro in a statement.

The final vote tallies are as follows:

Proposition #1
Vote Totals: Yes: 2,174 No: 541

Proposition #1: Gives the Board of Education the authorization to sell the District’s Green Acres Building, located at 205 Yorkshire Road, Tonawanda, New York. The almost 73,000 square foot building will be sold, but the adjacent soccer field, basketball court, playground, and other green space are excluded from the sale. The green space will be kept by the District for student use.

Proposition #2
Vote Totals: Yes: 2,525 No: 169

Proposition #2: Gives the Board of Education the authorization to modify the current minimum distances for bus transportation to students.

The Board of Education is expected to vote on the proposed 2012-2013 budget during Wednesday night’s public meeting at 6:00 PM, located at the Hoover Complex Auditorium, located at 199 Thorncliff Road, Buffalo, New York, 14223.