As the Budget Vote and Board Election set for May 16 approaches, District leaders have been informing parents, staff and residents about the proposed capital project which will also be on the ballot.
Superintendent Jeff Simons has been to 25 meetings in the past two months – in schools, at fire departments, police stations and community centers – to discuss the project and how it will impact the school community.
“We’ve had a tremendous response from the community at these meetings,” Mr. Simons said. “We’re able to lay out the project, what it entails and how the finances work. We’re also able to answer any questions that people may have for us.”
The proposed capital project is broken down into three separate propositions that address aging infrastructure, safety and health, instructional space and technology. Voting is cumulative, so a higher number proposition cannot pass unless each lower number proposition passes (e.g., Propositions 5 and 6 can only pass if Proposition 4 passes).
- Proposition #4 – $17,206,812 (Priority 1.1)
- Classroom Modernization (STEM), Safety and Fire Systems, Roofs
- Proposition #5 – $16,946,944 (Priority 1.2)
- Plumbing, Electrical, Masonry
- Proposition #6 – $5,642,286 (Priority 1.3)
- Parking Lots, Turf Field (includes field, track and improved lighting)
The project would cost $39.7 million if all three propositions are approved, but would have no additional local tax impact due to expiring debt obligations. State building aid will cover 72% of all eligible work items, and the local share of the cost will be tax neutral due to retiring debt following the 2019-20 school year.
“All of this work isn’t free, but we are financing it in a responsible way,” said Mr. Simons. “At the end of the day, it’s like a family replacing an older car, that needs more and more maintenance, with a new car that has the same monthly payment.”
Parents and staff from Genet Elementary School learned more about the capital project when Mr. Simons spoke at its PTO meeting on Monday evening.
“The capital project would be a great investment into the future of our district,” said Susan Pagones, Genet PTO co-president. “The much needed updates to the infrastructure of our buildings and grounds would ensure that our children can continue to get an education in schools that are up to date and safe. The fact that the board is looking to do this in a way that won’t cost taxpayers extra money is an added bonus.”
Residents are invited to learn more about the capital project by attending one of the upcoming meetings:
- April 6: Columbia PTO Meeting, 7:00 p.m., Columbia Library
- April 11: Green Meadow PTO Meeting, 7:00 p.m., Green Meadow Cafeteria
- April 11: Red Mill PTO Meeting, 8:00 p.m., Red Mill Library
- May 1: Bell Top PTO Meeting, 7:00 p.m., Bell Top Cafeteria
- May 2: DPS PTO Meeting, 6:30 p.m., DPS Library
- May 3: Public hearing for Budget Vote and Board Election, 7:00 p.m., Goff Cafeteria
- May 9: Goff PTO Meeting, 7:00 p.m., Goff Cafeteria
- May 10: Public presentation of the Capital Project, 6:30 p.m., East Greenbush Community Library
- May 16: Residents vote on the Capital Project as part of the Budget Vote and Board Election, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., Bell Top, DPS, Goff and Green Meadow
Any community organizations interested in hosting a presentation of their own should contact Public Information Specialist Mark Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-2532.