By MATT LINDSEY
CANTON -- Voters in the Canton Central School District will decide Oct. 11 on a $450,000 capital project to erect two buildings that would include restrooms and a concession stand at their State Street athletics complex.
The construction at the “Pee Wee Fields” would be paid for using existing funds and not require any further tax obligations from residents. The project would be paid for using district designated reserve funds and community donations, Canton Central Superintendent William “Bill” Gregory said.
The vote is slated for Oct. 11 from noon to 8 p.m. in the high school library.
New sports fields were constructed this past year, but funding for restrooms and a concession stand were “not in the original budget at the time,” Gregory said. Because restrooms and concession stands at athletic fields are not eligible for state aid, the burden for the total cost falls on local taxpayers.
An additional $450,000 added to the $10 million project voted on 2015 would have translated to an additional increase in taxes of nearly 5 percent. The district did not have reserves to offset the additional cost at the time, but is now able to underwrite the project in combination with community donations made through the Pee Wee Association, with an increase in taxes.
Currently there are only port-a-potties at the field.
Two sets of restrooms are needed due to the sheer size of the complex, to accommodate the handicapped and those with special needs, Canton Central said in a prepared statement.
The statement said that “having food and drinks available for purchase during fames, practices and tournaments will meet an identified consumer demand, and at the same time provide valuable income to the non-profit school and community organizations approve to use the facility.
If approved, design, review and project bidding would take place from Oct. through April 2018 with construction set to begin in May of next year.