SALAMANCA — A proposition for the Salamanca City Central School District to acquire three properties for $200,000 for potential future development will be on the ballot for a March 16 vote.

The community will have an opportunity to cast a ballot on the resolution from noon to 9 p.m. in the Salamanca High School gymnasium. COVID-19 protocols will be in effect to protect voters and poll workers.

The property purchases would come with no tax increase to district residents, and purchasing the sites will be funded from existing, budgeted district reserves, said District Superintendent Robert Breidenstein. A fourth property would also be leased from the Seneca Nation with an annual payment.

“We’re simply voting to take possession of some properties and to acquire the leases for those properties at no cost to the community,” he said.

The respective costs for the purchase are:

  • 90 Fern Ave., $75,000
  • 635 Front Ave., $89,900
  • Vacant land next to 635 Front Ave., $35,000
  • Vacant land next to 413 Front Ave., $918 annual lease payment

The development of these sites may be included in existing voter-approved capital projects approved in a May 2018 vote. Briedenstein said site development of the Fern Avenue and 635 Front Ave. properties would be to further enhance the 50 Iroquois Drive campus track fields, add parking and expand bleacher capacity and concessions/restrooms.

“Some of the 50 Iroquois Drive work will be accomplished during the next phase of construction, and then there may be some additional voter input into additional expanded amenities,” he said.

Leasing the land next to 413 Front Ave. would be used for additional parking at Veterans Memorial Park.

Because the school district is fairly landlocked in what space can be developed, Breidenstein said there had been ongoing conversations for a few years about acquiring more properties. As the conversations continued with homeowners and the Seneca Nation, he said all four properties were able to be put together as one referendum, although slower than hoped because of COVID-19.

“It was extremely positive. Some of the property owners, and particularly the Seneca Nation, were very accommodating and willing to have the conversations and discussions about a mutually beneficial transaction for the district and the community,” he said.

Although the original design approved in 2018 for the track and multipurpose field for 50 Iroquois Drive would have fit in the existing space, Breidenstein said the idea of acquiring the additional properties will allow for more space and utilities if the district hosts large-scale athletic events.

“We have a pretty good handle on what we need to do, it’s just a matter of getting those plans solidified,” he said. “Now having the potential to have some additional property, that could change a bit of the site plan for the track and field in terms of orientation and where the other events will go as well as some additional parking spaces.”

Breidenstein said the target completion date for phase 3.3 of the ongoing project would be sometime in the spring of 2022. Because it won’t be a complete rebuild like at Vets Park, he said the scope and time for the project aren’t as big.

Before Vets Park has even opened, Briedenstein said there has already been an uptick in the number of local and outside groups wanting to utilize the new park for sports and community events, and the renovations at the 50 Iroquois Drive space would help in giving a space to those additional interested parties.

“We expect that they’ll be used 24/7 and we can pretty much accommodate that with the upgrades that we’ve done,” he added. “We think it’s a great way to showcase what Salamanca can offer the community.”

(Contact Salamanca Press editor Kellen Quigley at kquigleysp@gmail.com.)

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