Alton voters defeat article to renovate school for $18.6 million
ALTON - Voters defeated the most costly item on this year's school district warrant - a request for $18.6 million to renovate the Alton Central School.
Special Warrant Article II asked voters to raise and appropriate $18,665,536 for "renovation, reconstruction, repairs and construction of an addition to the Alton Central School and for furnishing and equipment. Of that amount, the school board would bond $17,705,536 and pull the rest from an assortment of capital reserve funds. The article was defeated by a vote of 734-685, garnering only 48 percent of the vote (60 percent was needed for a bond article).The Alton School Board recommended the article by a 4-1 vote; the Alton Budget Committee split on a 3-3 vote to recommend the article.
The district had sought to address health, safety and space problems at the school. Voters did pass the district's $12,711,699 operating budget by a vote of 773-607.
On the town ballot for elected offices, voters reelected Loring Carr with 600 votes and voted in Robert Daniels with 690 votes to two open positions in the four-way race on the board of selectmen. Runners-up Stephen Miller received 480 votes and Lawrence Tilly received 468 votes.
In the only other contested race, Dick Glidden earned the one, three-year seat on the water commission. Challengers Charles Adams Jr. received 230 votes and Edward "Buddy" Peterson received 155 votes.
Voters rejected only one funding request on the town ballot: Article 11 requested $40,000 to be placed in the Police Vehicle Capital Reserve Account. The sum was to come from fund balance surplus, with no amount raised from new taxation. The vote was 614 for and 706 against.
Article 19, the town's $6,457,356 operating budget, was approved by a vote of 707-627.
Other approved funded articles included $45,000 for town hall improvements; an authorization to withdraw $139,000 from the Ambulance Operation Fund to cover ambulance operations and staffing; $100,000 for the Fire Equipment Capital Reserve; and $750,000 for the Highway Reconstruction Capital Reserve Fund.