Education

Batavia school board awards stadium repair contract, sets 2021 tax levy at Tuesday’s meeting

Taxpayers could see a $76 increase to school district’s portion of property tax bill

BATAVIA — Batavia Public School District 101 awarded a contract to Lite Construction, Inc., to improve bleachers and replace lighting at Bulldog Stadium during its school board meeting on Nov. 16.

The board voted unanimously to award the contract, which had nine bidders in total. The total project cost will be $2,167,000, with $100,000 contingency balance.

“It came in very close to what was originally budgeted. I was a little concerned, considering where we’re at and how prices are going up,” said Mark Anderson, director of operations. “This was good news that the lowest responsible responsive bidder was Lite Construction.”

Based in Montgomery, Lite Construction, Inc. has worked with the school district in the past constructing a new athletic entrance for Sam Rotolo Middle School. The company was recommended to the board by both district administration and its architectural firm DLR Group.

“They are ready to go. The first question when we were doing the scope review was ‘can we start earlier if we get this,’” said Anderson.

Work on the stadium is set to begin May 23, with expected completion on Sep. 9.

The board also adopted the 2021 total tax levy of $74.7 million at the meeting, which will pay for district expenses including operations and maintenance costs of the 2022 – 2023 school year.

“Overall, we expect the levy this year will impact homes by about $76,” said Chief Financial Officer Anton Inglese. “That is relatively low increase to the recent trend in property taxes.”

The 2021 tax levy is based on a consumer price index of 1.4%. The 2021 tax levy would be 3.6% increase from the prior year’s tax extension.

Excluding new construction, the total estimated equalized assessed value for the the district is $1,346,384,900.

Inglese noted that the 2022 consumer price index could potentially exceed 5%.

“On the ten-year average, certainly as I’ve been the chief business official here, we can see on average a CPI of about two percent, and usually it’s less than that. Very rarely is it more than that,” said Inglese. “If CPI exceeds that amount, we’d be capped at 5%. That wouldn’t be good for taxpayers and that certainly wouldn’t be good for us, although our revenues would keep going up. We would get more money of course generally speaking, however our bills go up quite dramatically.”

Inglese pointed out that the largest area of concern was in the price of contract services, of which the district relies heavily on.

“I think the biggest threat that we face right now is inflation,” said Inglese.