Tax settlement on school board agenda


A property tax assessment settlement involving a former Rite Aid warehouse facility, and an update on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) law, will be among items before the Board of Education on Thursday night.

Among other board topics will be six retirements of school district staffers, plus scholar/athlete commendations for eight Rome Free Academy fall sports teams.

The board’s regular meeting is expected to begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the school district office, 409 Bell Road, following a 5:45 p.m. closed executive session for a hearing on a grievance by the Rome Administrators Association. On the agenda:

• A resolution calls for agreeing to settle a tax certiorari proceeding that was filed by Rite Aid Distribution Center, Inc. for the 2015-16 tax year for property it had owned at 5865 Success Drive.

The settlement involves reducing the property’s assessed value for that tax year to $2,675,750, down from $3,250,000, according to the resolution.

The proposed settlement would require the school district to pay a school tax refund of $17,555 to Rite Aid, said school district Director of Business and Finance David Dreidel. Funding to cover the payment is in the district’s reserve account for tax certiorari cases, added Assistant Superintendent for Operations and Management Robert Mezza Jr.

The property no longer is owned by Rite Aid. It was sold by Rite Aid on April 15, 2016 to JR & R II LLC, and property tax bills are now sent to that name at a Marshall, Minn. address, according to the city assessor’s office. JR & R II LLC is affiliated with the Runnings company, which also operates a store at 5949 Rome-Taberg Road near the warehouse facility.

• An ESSA update will be presented by school district Superintendent Peter C. Blake.

The full implementation of ESSA has been noted by Blake as one of the school district’s points of focus for 2019.

Among ESSA’s overall aspects are plans and goals to improve school performance, along with accountability by schools including measurements of progress.

• Upcoming retirements to be accepted by the board, with regret, include Kelly Hoke, athletic trainer, effective May 24; teacher assistants Carol Muratore, Carol Griffiths and Patricia Townsend, all effective June 28; typist Beth Doria, effective June 30; grounds maintenance worker Frederick Sherman, effective March 8.

• Commendations for receiving Scholar/Athlete Team Awards from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association include members of the RFA varsity boys cross-country and soccer teams plus girls cross-country, field hockey, gymnastics, soccer, swimming, and tennis teams.

Scholar/Athlete Team Awards are for achieving a fall marking period average of 90 or higher.


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