Confusion over school district lines

Posted at: 09/18/2013 6:21 PM
Updated at: 09/18/2013 8:59 PM
By: John McLoughlin

How would you like to purchase a home in a suburban school district where you want to send your children only to discover later that your home actually is located in the "city" school district a short distance away?

That scenario could be playing out right now, in Rensselaer County.

The City of Troy has now widened its lawsuit against neighboring suburban towns, claiming that 22 homes thought to be in the Averill Park School District are actually inside the City of Troy School District.

The Averill Park superintendent got served with the lawsuit on Wednesday morning. That could send kids to city, instead of suburban schools.

And homeowners could wind up paying Troy school taxes reportedly about 14 percent higher than the Averill Park taxes.

“They bought a house thinking it was the Averill Park central school district because that is where they wanted their kids to attend and now they find out that it is the Troy school district,” says Averill Park Superintendent, Dr. James Hoffman.

Brunswick Supervisor Phil Herrington says Troy has widened its lawsuit to include not just Averill Park schools, but four fire districts as well.

"My phone has been ruining off the hook every day and we have retained counsel because we plan to defend this lawsuit very very vigorously,” says Herrington.

The city touched off a firestorm a couple of months ago, claiming that new, high-definition aerial photography showed that 67 properties in the towns of Brunswick, North Greenbush and Schaghticoke actually are inside city limits.

Last month Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia said he wanted to call a truce.

"I think it is time that we sit down and talk,” said Mayor Rosamilia.

“For those 22 homeowners who will be affected, this most definitely will certainly be a shock,” said Dr. Hoffman.

Rosamilia said even though is he calling for a truce, he’s expanding the lawsuit because the city is “covering its bases”.

He says he still wants to sit down with the folks who run the towns and the fire districts and now, the school district.