Voters raise concerns over $159M BOCES capital improvement project

The $159 million referendum passed Tuesday by 110 votes.

Blaise Gomez

Oct 27, 2022, 5:57 PM

Updated 575 days ago

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News 12 viewers are reaching out with concerns about a multimillion-dollar project to renovate Orange-Ulster BOCES that passed this week by a slim margin.  
“Nobody seemed to know about it,” said Wendy Wellington, from Pine Bush. 
The $159 million referendum passed Tuesday by 110 votes.  
Several voters reached out to News 12 saying people in the 17 districts it serves were not properly notified about the project or the vote. 
BOCES officials say notices were sent to families and school districts in August.  
They say the money will be used for vital improvements and repairs to their two main campuses in Goshen.  
BOCES provides special education and career and technical education.  
News 12 found on their website that the project also includes gutting and remodeling administrative offices.  
“I think they need to cut this $159 million and work with what the kids need, and leave out the administrative stuff for another time,” said Kathy Dagaev, from Highland Falls.  
“People can’t afford this, and it’s going to cost us for the next 20 years. And in those 20 years, they’re going to want more money for more things.” 
There were 2,350 yes votes and 2,240 no votes. 
The Monroe-Woodbury Board of Education wrote a letter last week urging families to vote down the project, citing cost and an alleged “lack of transparency.”  
The capital improvements are expected to raise taxes in the districts it serves by about $5 a month, per household. 
Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus tells News 12 his office has also received complaints about the referendum passing but that there’s nothing the county can do. 
For more information about the project, visit the Orange-Ulster BOCES website.


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