F-M residents to vote May 21 on property purchase

— To alleviate parking congestion and provide more storage space for records and maintenance vehicles, the Fayetteville-Manlius School District will be asking district residents on May 21 for permission to purchase property adjacent to Fayetteville-Manlius High School.

State education law requires that the district receive voter authorization prior to purchasing the property. In addition to the 2013-14 school district budget, the May 21 ballot will include a proposition asking district residents to decide whether the school district can purchase the property – which is a total of two lots – located in Manlius on the corner of Route 173 and Tinderbox Circle for a total price of $220,000.

If approved, the purchase would not increase the local property tax levy. The district would buy the property with money it allocated in the 2012-13 budget but will not spend due to efficient budgeting.

To move forward with the purchase, a majority of voters (at least 51 percent) must approve the proposition.

There is currently a two-story house, which faces Route 173, and a detached multi-vehicle garage on the approximate one-acre lot at 8211 East Seneca Turnpike. The approximate half-acre lot adjacent to it, at 4917 Tinderbox Circle, is vacant. The school district owns all the land around the property.

Before placing the property on the market, the property owner approached the district in October to see if district officials would be interested in buying it. The district had the property appraised prior to negotiating a purchase price with the seller.

“When the seller approached us, we began to think about our needs related to space and how this property could resolve some of those issues because of its location,” said Superintendent Corliss Kaiser. “Given that we negotiated a reasonable purchase price and could make the purchase without increasing taxes, we felt it would be a wise investment.”

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