SRCS Board of Education Chooses Water Proposal from Fort Covington

Apr 30, 2014

Tribe’s Proposal Less Expensive and Offered School Award Winning Water Quality

The Salmon River Central School Board of Education voted on the water proposals submitted by the SRMT and Fort Covington on Tuesday April 29, 2014 and selected a proposal from the Town of Fort Covington in a 6-2 vote. Voting in favor of the Tribe's proposal were Tribal members Emily Lauzon and Sheila Marshall. The Board of Education has nine seats and is currently represented by two Tribal members. The Tribe is endorsing three candidates in the upcoming election on May 20, 2014.

Chief Ron LaFrance, also a parent of the district, commented, "A large percentage of the Salmon River School District's yearly budget is supplied by New York State through a tuition agreement based on the number of Mohawk students attending the school district. The remaining percentage of the yearly budget is made up by local property taxes." Sub-Chief Michael Conners attended the meeting and reinforced the reason he is running for the upcoming Board of Education at SRCS is "for our children to have adequate representation. The school is going to get 'adequate water', instead of quality, award-winning water supplied by our Water Treatment Plant. Seventy percent of the students at Salmon River are from Akwesasne. I appreciate the arguments presented by Emily Lauzon concerning fiscal responsibility and the support by Sheila Marshall. The decision made by the Board benefits the town. The intent of the Tribe's proposal was representative of the best interests of the children in the school."

Proposals were presented at a community meeting on April 22, 2014. The Tribe's proposal was at a cost of $2.075 million with annual charges of $14,400. The Town of Fort Covington's proposal was $2.2 million with an annual charge of $23,300 and a benefit to the town, as the town's water supply needs an upgrade.

The Executive Director of Education, Stephanie Cook, states, "After the decision last night, it is evident that we need to change the leadership on the Board of Education. It is unacceptable that we will allow water that is just 'adequate' for all of the children in the school. According to a press release regarding this issue, "The Tribe's quality of water is excellent, and has received national awards based on both taste and quality metrics. Current system highlights include a dual sand filtration system, ultraviolet treatment and a fully redundant, computerized system monitored 24/7." This concern affects every single person here, as the decision made was not in the best interest of the students, it was in the best interest of the town. You have a voice, please let it be heard at the next election on May 20, 2014 by voting for responsible board leadership: Sheila Marshall, Michael Conners, Jr. and Jason McDonald."

# # # #

Download pdf version

Please direct media inquiries to the Communications Department at 518-358-2272.