Potsdam Board of Education okays school merger referendum
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 11:40 am

By JIMMY LAWTON

POTSDAM -- Potsdam Central School's education board wants the public to decide whether the district should merger with Canton.

The PCS Board of Education voted 8-0 Tuesday night to allow the public to vote on a merger with the Canton Central School District, according to Potsdam Superintendent Patrick Brady.

Canton Board of Education will act on the same resolution Thursday. If Canton's school board votes no, the process will be stopped. If the resolution passes, a straw poll vote will be schedule Oct. 30, in the high school auditoriums.

If passed by both communities, the binding referendum would be on Dec. 16, 2014 at the same time and location.

"Though there are varying opinions on the board as there are in the community, the board of Education recognized that it is important that the public have the opportunity to vote on this important issue," Brady said in an emailed statement. "Now it will be important over the next few months to provide further information to both communities so people can make an informed decision about the future of our schools."

A study, paid for with state grants, showed a merger would allow the districts to provide more academic options for students and delay and prevent insolvency for the districts in the near future.

The benefits, while varied, were largely due to a $35 million incentive provided by the state to help consolidate school districts.

School board president Wade Davis thanked everyone who helped complete the study.

" I'd like to thank the hard-work and dedication of the Joint Advisory Committee and Senator Griffo for the initial funds to explore the merger feasibility.  This issue will ultimately be decided by the voters of the respective districts," he said.

Brady is encouraging community members to visit http://www.potsdam.k12.ny.us/ to access the feasibility study and the variety of other information available in regard to the merger.

Brady said community members may also call him directly at 265-2000 x733 for more information.