School board member suggests Massena school district create means to bring in private donations
Saturday, December 7, 2013 - 5:09 pm

By ANDY GARDNER

MASSENA -- Citing rising costs in the New York State teacher’s retirement system, Massena Central Board of Education member William Sommerfield suggested the school look at forming a foundation to bring in private donations.

“Create a fund where money can come into the district” for it to fall back on in hard times, Sommerfield said. “The retirement system is going to kill us.”

According to a budget presentation on the school’s website, they are anticipating paying $839,953 to the retirement system for 2013-14, a 35.1 percent increase over last year.

“We’re facing real problems down the road,” he told his fellow board members.

Sommerfield said for example, he is a widower and has an estate that he would consider leaving to the district and the proposed foundation would make such gifts easier to make.

“We have groups like the music friends group … and for sports teams … I want something to support the school as a whole,” he said. “I want to give something back to the community … and help the district.”