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Watkins Glen schools to close on Solar Eclipse Day amid traffic concerns

The Watkins Glen School Board announced a decision to cancel classes on April 8, coinciding with a solar eclipse expected to attract heavy traffic to the area. Superintendent Kai D’Alleva cited concerns over potential traffic congestion, with reports suggesting Thruway traffic could be redirected towards Schuyler County due to the event. The district will utilize one of its emergency closure days to avoid the anticipated disruptions.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

During the same meeting, discussions on the upcoming school budget were held, focusing on potential impacts from Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposed state budget reductions. Kirk Smith, County Emergency Services Director, emphasized the importance of retaining the “Learn Not to Burn” fire safety program within the schools, highlighting its minimal cost and educational value.

The school board is preparing for “significant cuts” in its budget to align with possible reductions in state aid, with a final decision expected at their next meeting on April 2. A public hearing on the budget will be scheduled, followed by a public vote on May 21, ensuring community involvement in the financial planning process amidst uncertain state funding.