Friends of Clifton Park Open Space presented 7,000 signatures requesting a referendum on the Shenendehowa Board of Education’s vote to sell 34 acres of undeveloped land behind Shatekon Elementary before the Shen school district board meeting on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.
The board had previously voted during their December meeting to sell the land for $2 million to developer BBL and planned to use the proceeds from the sale to build a new school, potentially purchasing land in Halfmoon.
Because Friends of Clifton Park Open Space collected more than the required 5,000 signatures to force a public vote, a referendum will likely be scheduled for March or April after signatures on the petitions have been verified and the school board has time to address the next steps in the process.
Some members of the Shen Central School District reminded those present at the school board meeting that Clifton Park is not the only town served by Shen CSD. WNYT reports that one resident said, “The district encompasses other towns including Stillwater, Malta, Round Lake and Halfmoon. Simply addressing the sole desires of one town seems to be doing a huge disservice to the other towns.”
The Daily Gazette reports that BBL agreed to donate 17.5 to 19 acres of the disputed parcel to the town to be used as a park with the remaining land being developed as retail and office space, but Friends of Clifton Park Open Space are advocating for preserving the entire 34 acres.
The next school board meeting will be January 24, 2017.
“Open space advocates press Shen school board” – The Daily Gazette