East Ramapo Central School District mulling options to fix facilities impacted by high lead levels

A survey sent out by the district years ago found some of the district’s facility conditions were not up to standard because of lead levels.

Diane Caruso and Rob Taub

Aug 2, 2023, 9:05 PM

Updated 262 days ago

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The East Ramapo Central School District is sifting through its options on how to fix some of its facilities after a survey revealed how they’ve been impacted by high lead levels found years ago.
The district’s board held a meeting Tuesday night at which parents raised concerns about the conditions the survey uncovered, which included some water fountains and kitchen taps being shut off.
"You're not having a communication with the parents,” said one parent. “The parents want to know about the lead. The parents want to know about the pipes."
East Ramapo Superintendent Dr. Clarence Ellis told News 12 the issues have not been fixed because of financial constraints, a year after year 0% tax levy because of failed budgets, and the fact capital improvements can't happen when there's a contingency budget in place.
"We want to ensure the families that we share your determination to address these issues with the utmost priority,” added Ellis.
The New York Civil Liberties Union has demanded the state take over the district to address the lead issues.
"We need an immediate, tangible plan to improve conditions right now — not lackluster, Band-Aid solutions in 15 months,” said New York Civil Liberties Union Director Johanna Miller.
The East Ramapo Central School District is supposed to decide this fall when a potential project bond vote will happen in 2024. It is also supposed to appoint a facilities committee.


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