Massena school board wary of creating monetary foundation, option still not ruled out
Monday, January 20, 2014 - 11:18 am

MASSENA -- School board member Robert Sommerfield brought up the idea of the district creating a foundation so alumni can make monetary donations, but some board members said they were wary of the idea.

Sommerfield said he thinks the idea could stop the district from having to each year spend its fund balance, but board member Loren Fountaine noted that they have to play by a strict, narrow set of rules because they are a New York state public school district.

“There’s a lot of legal issues with accepting money or donations,” board member Loren Fountain said.

“We can look at it, we’d have to be careful of who’s involved and how,” Board President John Boyce said.

Sommerfield said he has been in contact with Randy Richards of the Northern New York Community Foundation (NNYCF) and they have worked with the Potsdam and Watertown school districts in setting up similar programs.

“This gentleman will come up here and talk to us,” according to Sommerfield, adding that NNYCF could help a district foundation get 501c3 status, meaning it is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as charitable and tax-exempt.

“A lot of people truly love this community, love this school,” Sommerfield said.