Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

February 26, 2013

Starpoint lease deal near

BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — PENDLETON –– A deal could be in place today between the Town of Pendleton and the Starpoint School District concerning the town’s lease of school property for its summer recreation program.

Starpoint Board of Education members voted 8-0 Monday night in favor of approving the contract between the two municipalities. The Pendleton Town Board meets today at 7 p.m. for a work session meeting and the lease agreement is on the agenda.

Pendleton Supervisor James R. Riester said the two sides had been going back and forth for a while, but hoped a deal could be approved by the town board today.

“Hopefully, we’ll get it tomorrow,” he said.

According to the deal, the district will charge the town $1,500 for usage of school property during Pendleton’s six-week, six-hours-a-day summer program. During the summer program, the town uses the cafeteria, a gymnasium and the Starpoint pool.

The lease agreement is a one-year deal that runs from January through December and is typically agreed upon every year in the fall. The issue rose last year, with discussion centering around charging Pendleton to help offset costs for the school, but both sides agreed to a deal last year without any charge to the town.

Discussion rose again this year, with Starpoint board members orginally approving a deal in December that included charging Pendleton. Also, other organizations that use school property for an extended period of time will be charged.

Starpoint Superintendent C. Douglas Whelan said a change was made concerning non-Pendleton residents who wanted to participate in the program. Non-residents would be charged $160 to participate.

Earlier in the school year, board members expressed concerns about Starpoint taxpayers being charged or left out of the program just because they didn’t live in Pendleton. The school district’s boundaries include five towns, Lockport, Pendleton, Royalton, Wheatfield and Cambria. But Pendleton is the only town that is entirely within Starpoint’s borders.

In other district news, Board of Education members and district officials are discussing a change to Starpoint’s policy on alcohol, tobacco, drugs and other substances by students. Whelan asked the board Monday about adding a section to the policy addressing a student who violates the policy before a season or extracurricular activity begins for the year.

Currently, any student who participates in a Starpoint club, organization or sports team must submit a signed parental permission and student participation agreement. Punishment is outlined in the district’s code of conduct.

However, the punishments only pertain to situations that occur during or after the season or event, not before they start, Whelan said.

Discussion will continue on the proposed change, officials said.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.