Voters turn down proposition to purchase building for Greater Johnstown School District

JOHNSTOWN -The Greater Johnstown School District will not be purchasing a building with the public voting down Proposition 1 Thursday. The building was located at 2 Industrial Park.

The vote was 304 opposed and 272 in favor.

However, Proposition 2, which allows for the purchase of new busses, passed with a vote of 403 in favor and 173 opposed.

Scott Miller, Board of Education president, said the district needs to first take a step back and reflect on what happened, then decide where to go from there.

“Maybe, we as a board and as a district, didn’t get the information out enough,” Miller said. “I know there is a lot of misinformation out there, as I talked to people throughout the community, there’s a lot of questions and some different doubts,” he said.

If Proposition 1 had been approved, the district would have purchased the 28,000-square-foot building for $625,000. The district now rents a building to store equipment such as snow blowers and lawn mowers, and bulk supplies such as extra desks.

“The public and voters spoke, and we respect that [and] we’ll move on,” said Ronald Beck, Board of Education member. “At the end of the day, and the end of the year, we’re still paying rent and that is not something we can control. That will have budgetary implications. We’ll revisit, talk about it, and discuss which direction we’ll want to go, then go from there.”

Miller said that as of right now, the district is still in a good spot, but feels that there was still some miscommunication. He said if people looked at the information of renting versus owning, it would help out the district.

“We still have that option of, if our landlord raises the rent, our tax payers will have to absorb that, we have no control of that. The other side of that is if he decides to sell it, I’m not sure what we would do. We’ll have to cross that bridge when we get to that,” said Miller.

Proposition 2, which was passed, allows the school to spend up to $374,718 from its Bus Reserve Fund. With no impact on local taxes, the school will purchase two 66-passenger school busses and one 42-passenger wheelchair bus.

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