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Board approves referendum for capital project bond

Sept. 27, 2016

The Schalmont Board of Education unanimously agreed to move forward with a capital project estimated at just under $14 million dollars at the board meeting Sept. 26, which will be put up for a vote by residents on Wednesday, Dec. 14 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the new gym lobby.

The project, totaling $13,853,500, consists mainly of HVAC work, fixing pipes, plumbing, heating and duct work, deteriorating masonry, and cracks in the floors, walls, and tiles, insulating, and replacing windows with more efficient, energy-saving versions. The scope would also include replacing the roof on the Transportation 100 building and creating a more secure vestibule entrance at the high school. [Learn more about the project scope details]

“As was revealed with our facilities committee report and building condition survey, many of the items included in this project are reaching the end of their useful life,� Superintendent Dr. Carol Pallas said. “When you own a home, you need to keep your pipes, water heater, walls, and roof in good repair; a school is no different.�

Schalmont Business Administrator Joe Lenz said the district will apply $1.5 million in fund balance toward the project, which would require public approval. The public also vote on whether to approve a bond for the remaining $12,353,500 on Dec. 14.

Elements of the capital project are eligible for state aid, and the district currently has a state aid ratio of 59.8 percent for eligible expenses – meaning the state would reimburse the district for nearly 60 percent of eligible repairs and construction, with the remaining 40 percent being the estimated local share.

The local taxpayer portion of the project is estimated at about $5.5 million. The estimated tax impact for residents is $32,000, or a one-time 0.1 percent increase on the levy.

“Our current debt service is beginning to fall off, so with the timing of the proposed project, the impact on the levy will be minimal,� Lenz said.

Lenz likened the bond debt payments to the process to that of buying a new car. “You had a $300 car payment each month before, and you still have that $300 payment, but now you have a new car as well,� he said.

Residents will vote whether to authorize the district to spend up to $13,853,500 on a capital project from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14 in the Schalmont High School New Gym  Lobby, 1 Sabre Drive, Schenectady.