Monday, December 3, 2012

Week ahead: RCSD building plan hearing, County budget, Rochester vs. the crows

Posted by on Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 9:51 AM

The Rochester school board will hold a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 6, to gather input from parents, students, and residents on the new school buildings master plan. There will be a public comment period followed by an opportunity to ask Superintendent Bolgen Vargas questions about the proposed plan. The plan recommends closing five city schools and spending $625 million modernizing other schools over the next 10 years.

The meeting is at the district’s central office building, third floor conference room, 131 West Broad Street. Members of the public who would like to comment on the plan should call the board office before noon on Thursday to register: 262-8525. Tim Louis Macaluso

click to enlarge Maggie Brooks. - FILE PHOTO

The Monroe County Legislature will hold a public hearing on County Executive Maggie Brooks’s proposed 2013 budget at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 6. The Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee will discuss the budget during its meeting immediately after the hearing. A vote is expected at the December 11 meeting of the full Legislature.

Brooks’s proposal lays out approximately $1.2 billion in spending and keeps the property tax rate at $8.99 per $1,000 assessed value. But it also creates two new chargebacks: fees charged to taxpayers in specific communities for using a service. One would cover $750,000 in indigent burial costs. The other, which would only affect suburban property owners, would cover $5 million in snowplowing costs.

The county already funds its contribution to Monroe Community College through chargebacks. It’s giving the college $500,000 more this year, so the MCC charges will increase accordingly.

Legislature Democrats say that the chargebacks are tax increases in disguise. Jeremy Moule

The City of Rochester is after the crows again. This week, City Council begins discussing proposed legislation to shoo the crows out of Washington Square Park and south along the river trail. A roost near the park was dispersed last year, but is re-establishing itself, Mayor Tom Richards says.

If the legislation is approved, the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services Division will use nonlethal methods to disperse the crows including "distress calls, lasers, pyrotechnics, effigies, and spotlights." Sounds like quite a show.

Council's meeting is at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 6, at City Hall, 30 Church Street. Christine Carrie Fien

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