Sunday, October 27, 2019

December Referendum Update...

As you may know, the Board of Education this week approved a resolution for a December ballot referendum that is aimed to provide significant repairs to Rome Free Academy, the track and field, and includes a phase II energy performance contract (EPC). While there will be many upcoming informational opportunities, including opportunity for dialogue, this blog entry provides the 30,000 foot view of the proposed project. For reminders, an EPC does not require a vote to be approved. However, a successfully voted EPC provides a district it's full aid reimbursement from the State Education Department. In our case, the difference in aid between a voted EPC and non-voted EPC is 17%. Given that number, it's obvious that a vote would be most beneficial to the taxpayers. The purpose of doing a December referendum is two fold in that there are significant needs at the high school currently which can be addressed through an energy performance contract in the spring. Part of the failing HVAC system, that you may have heard a lot about over the past 10 years, includes failing connectors and couplings in the lines of the system. These connections need to be replaced as soon as possible and our choices are either spend roughly $300,000 unbudgeted out of the general fund this year, or have an EPC cover the repairs and spread the payments out over 15 years. Another item for immediacy is the track and field at the RFA stadium. By voting in December (if successful) there is a high likelihood that these repairs could be completed prior to the start of next school year. The RFA building components that are contained in the project proposal include new roofing, installing flashing along the facade of the building to prevent continued water penetration, some electrical systems upgrades (not covered under an EPC), and other items of non-cosmetic value (general maintenance). The EPC phase II covers the issues in RFA mentioned previously, as well as, HVAC issues, building envelope issues (insulation), boilers, some windows, and other general improvements that will reduce energy costs in our elementary schools. The annually projected cost to the district of the proposed project is $148,063. Payments on capital projects are made over 15 years. The annual estimated energy savings, as a result of the EPC phase II, ranges between $183,066 and $278,901 over the same 15 years. The end result is a negative tax impact (zero tax increase) on the community, which would allow the district to fulfill the scope of the proposed project without impacting the tax payers of the district. Obviously, there will be many questions that people may have regarding this proposal. There will be upcoming community forums, video messages, print newsletters, and other means of communicating the proposed project to the community. In the meantime, if you have questions that you would like to ask, please do not hesitate to email or call.  

Marching Band Fundraiser

On Sunday, November 3, join the RFA Marching Band for a pancake breakfast! From 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the RFA cafeteria you can have breakfast with the members of the RFA marching band. The cost for each meal is $8.00 at the door. For more information please contact the RFA band boosters at

Screenagers Film Showing

Strough Middle School is thrilled to present SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in the Digital Age, a documentary about the biggest parenting issue of our time. SCREENAGERS addresses the most pervasive parenting issue of our time head on—depicting teen struggles over social media, video games and internet addiction. The film empowers kids to best navigate the digital world and provides practical resources to help them do it. The showing will take place on Friday, November 1, 2019 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Strough Middle School. For more information, please visit

Oneida County Youth Services Council

As part of New York State’s Access to Childcare initiative, The Child Care Council received a grant to collaborate with the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council to survey child care needs as they affect our business and employer community in the Mohawk Valley.  This survey is meant to be taken by ANYONE, regardless of if you have children.  So please take it!  The survey aims to get real-time data on child care needs in the Mohawk Valley workforce – right now we use census data to generate statistical assumptions about child care needs. The council is asking for two things: Takes the survey yourself and send the link along to anyone else you know that may not have access. The survey will be open until November 1 and the survey can be found at this link:

Trunk or Treat Event

Trunk or Treat is all about safe, family fun and don't forget the candy! It's a holiday themed community tailgate party and it's completely free. You can expect bouncy castles, games, popcorn, cotton candy, prizes giveaways, and candy. The group will be awarding one lucky family 100 pounds of candy!! Plan on dropping by the Redeemer Church in Rome between 6:00 and 7:30 p.m. on October 31. For more information, please visit or call 315.792.4748. Trunk or Treat will take place at 129 N. Washington St. in Rome.