Land Purchase Referendum
About the Referendum
On January 22, 2021, voters in the Nyack Union Free School District overwhelmingly approved the District’s proposal to purchase a 1.1-acre site at 366 North Highland Avenue, Upper Nyack. The approved proposition authorized the purchase of the property for $687,500 using existing undesignated fund balance monies. The resolution also provided permission to spend another $10,000 from the undesignated fund balance for various purchase and closing costs. Because the necessary funds have already been set aside, taxpayers will pay nothing for the purchase and closing costs of this property.
Approved Ballot Proposition
SHALL the Board of Education of the Nyack Union Free School District, in the County of Rockland, New York, be authorized to (a) purchase the premises located at 366 N. Highland Avenue
(a/k/a 366 Route 9W), Upper Nyack, New York, which is identified as Section 59.16, Block 2, Lot 2 on the Tax Map of the Town of Clarkstown (the “Subject Property”) at a purchase price of
$687,500 using existing undesignated fund balance monies, which monies will be transferred to a capital budget line for purposes of paying the purchase price and (b) expend up to an
additional $10,000 of existing undesignated fund balance monies for costs related to such purchase including but not limited to closing costs, title insurance costs and disbursements, which
monies will be transferred to a capital budget line for purposes of paying these expenses?
❑ YES ❑ NO
The purchase of the 1.1-acre property won approval, 840 votes to 131 as follows:
• Depew senior center: 126 to 19.
• Hilltop Elementary School administrative offices: 20 to 9.
• Valley Cottage Elementary School: 339 to 58.
• Upper Nyack Elementary School: 355 to 45.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are we voting on? On January 22, 2021, voters in the Nyack Union Free School District will be asked to approve the District’s proposal to purchase a 1.1-acre site at 366 North Highland Avenue, Upper Nyack. The proposition will authorize the purchase of the property for $687,500 using existing undesignated fund balance monies. The resolution also seeks permission to spend another $10,000 from the undesignated fund balance for various purchase and closing costs.
What does the Nyack School District intend to do with this property? If ultimately approved by Nyack voters, the parcel under consideration would provide the opportunity for future development of the property for additional vehicle parking and open space for students, families and community members. The new parking area would ease Nyack High School’s parking crunch —especially during well-attended athletic events at Rittershausen Field, commencement ceremonies, school concerts, drama productions and other extra-curricular activities.
Who benefits from the proposed parking area and open space? Nyack School District students, staff, families and community members. Nyack High School is a community hub, with individuals of all ages and abilities frequenting its classrooms, performance spaces and athletics facilities. In short: Quality public education impacts everyone. Strong schools, competitive sports and robust extra-curricular programs and supports enhance quality of life and economic development. Good schools result in higher incomes, better jobs and rising property values. Our parents, grandparents and senior neighbors paid for the education of each of us. Investing in the next generation is a time-honored American tradition and a community-wide responsibility.
How will the purchase be financed? The necessary funds ($687,500) have already been set aside by the District, with no additional resources to be requested from the community. No financing will be necessary, as the Board planned ahead by saving prudently for the future. Most land purchases made by school districts in New York State require voter approval via a public referendum.
Will there be an environmental review? The Board of Education previously determined that the purchase of the property will not result in any significant adverse environmental impacts. Any development of the property by the District will include a separate thorough environmental review (SEQRA) to assess potential environmental impacts.
What is currently located at the site? The property, directly across Route 9W from Birchwood Avenue, once housed the original site of the Pie Lady and Son bakery and other small businesses. The buildings on the property have been vacant since February 2019.
How much will taxpayers have to pay for the purchase and closing costs? The necessary funds have already been set aside, and thus no impact to taxpayers.
What about possible unanticipated costs of developing the property into a new parking area? Administrators and Board of Education trustees are confident the Nyack School District is in a good financial position to cover any additional costs.
Are there any property tax implications for the purchase of the parcel by the Nyack School District? The current owner of 366 North Highland Avenue is CAG Properties, LLC. With a successful sale to the district, the property would qualify to become tax exempt. The parcel’s current property tax bill is about $40,600; of that, nearly $26,000 is for school taxes.
Who is eligible to vote? Anyone 18 or older who is a United States citizen living in the Nyack School District for at least 30 days prior to the vote date is eligible to vote. Voters must be registered with the Rockland County Board of Elections or the Nyack School District. You are registered if you have voted in a general or school election at your present address in the past four years.
How will residents vote on the proposition? The January 22 vote will take place in-person at residents’ usual school election polling locations. The Nyack Board of Education and the district administration is actively working with state legislators to secure an extension of Governor Cuomo’s COVID-19 Executive Order to allow the potential for contraction of the virus that causes COVID-19 as a reason for voters to request an absentee ballot. Applications for absentee ballots will be obtainable during school business hours from the District Clerk. Completed applications must be received by the District Clerk by 4 P.M. (Prevailing Time) at least seven (7) days before the January 22 vote if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or by 4 P.M. (Prevailing Time) the day before the January 22 vote, if the ballot is to be given personally to the voter. Absentee ballots must be received by the District Clerk no later than 5 P.M. (Prevailing Time) on the day of the January 22 vote. We will keep you updated of any changes.
What will it take for the referendum to be successful? A simple majority of the total votes cast by eligible voters from the Nyack School District is needed.