November 27, 2021

Parker sale approved; school budgets pass

Parker sale returns to city council for final approval

Cortland Standard file photo

Parker Elementary School in Cortland. File photo.

Cortland school district voters approved on Tuesday selling the former Parker Elementary School to the city of Cortland, even as they approved a $50.17 million budget, the district announced Wednesday afternoon.

Voters largely approved school budgets and other propositions Tuesday across the greater Cortland area.

Voter turnout in Cortland was heavier than normal, said Alicia Zupancic, clerk of the school board. More than 2,900 absentee ballots were returned in the all mail-in election. Typically, the district sees 500 to 550 voters turn out to the polls, Zupancic said.

The Parker sale, for $91, was approved 2,196 to 588. The city plans to renovate the facility and lease it to CAPCO and YWCA Cortland for child-care programs.

The Cortland Common Council and the school board have already voted for preliminary approval of the sale. The matter now returns to the Common Council for a final vote.

A state grant application from the city put the total cost of renovations at $4 million, however Mayor Brian Tobin has said that estimate includes every possible cost. City officials previously said the project would require $2 million in capital expenses over 10 years, as well as $460,000 in start-up expenses and $166,000 in annual operating costs.

The start-up money must be provided by the nonprofits, Tobin said. However, the initial money could be fronted by a municipal bond.

Voters also approved:

— A $50.17 million budget for 2020-21 that increases spending 1.2% and increases the tax levy 1.1%, 2,042 to 733.
— Spending $529,000 to buy student transport vehicles, 1,980 to 774.
— Approved naming a high school student as an ex-officio member of the school board, 2,270 to 499.
— Approved funding the Cortland Free Library for $401,024, 1,851 to 926.
— Electing Janet Griffin and Lorilee Megivern to the school board for three-year terms, with 1,706 and 1,488 votes, respectively. They defeated Lauren Mossotti-Kline who received 1123 votes, and Dorreen Hettich-Atkins, 753 votes.

In other districts:


Approved were the 2020-21 budget, 1,162 to 384, and a proposition to lease two buses, 1,215 to 334. Elected to seats on the board of education were Luke M. Morenus, with 1,203 votes; Juli McChesney, 1037; and Sonia Apker, 939.

The $44.3 million budget increases spending 2.5% and its $16.86 million tax levy is up 1.9%. Tax rates would increase between 1.9% and 2%.


Approved were the $42.82 million 2020-21 budget, 744-232; a bus purchase proposition, 700-277, and replace interior doors at Dryden Elementary School, 756-225.

Elected to the board of education were Rhonda Kowalski, 696 votes; Heather Williams, 684, and Sophia Georgiakaki, 626. Also running was Bridget Dutcher, who received 494 votes.

The $42.82 million budget increases spending about 4.5%


The $18.89 million budget passed, 460-139. A proposition to spend $400,000 for three buses and a van also passed, 404-196.

Three school board members were elected: Jason Trabucco, 487 votes, William Dougherty, 442, and Lucas Baker, 413.


Approved were the 2020- 21 budget, 288-104, and a bus purchase proposition, 267-124. Elected to seats on the board of education were Thomas Mulhern, Peg Peri and Tess, although no vote tallies were released.


Approved were the $11.31 million 2020-21 budget, 382- 79, and propositions for a bus purchase, 347-115; library, 384-80 and the recreation program, 356-106. Elected to the board of education were Daniel Degear, 376 votes, and Jodi Wiesing, 355.

The budget increases spending 4.5%, and its $4.22 million levy is up 2.5%.


Approved were the district’s 2020 budget, 293-123, and a bus purchase proposition, 287-137. Elected to the school board were Darrin Osborne and Marisa Zogg, although no vote tallies were released.


The $24.24 million budget passed, 713-241. Two propositions also passed: spending $362,000 to buy three buses, 655-301; and funding the Powers Library for $79,500, 657-296.

Two people were elected to the school board: Michelle Lyon with 828 votes; and Terry Thompson, 795.


The $22.97 million budget passed, 364-141. Three people were elected to the school board: Sophia Darling with 429 votes, Kristin Prugh, 415, and Monica Dykeman, 398.


The $21.46 million budget was adopted, 586-390. A second proposition, to fund the Tully Free Library with $198,214, was approved, 638-343.