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MCSD to move forward with Capital Bond Referendum

Aug. 21, 2018

At its Aug. 6 meeting, the Monticello Central School District Board of Education reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring the safety and functionality of the district’s facilities with a plan to present a $54 million capital bond referendum at the polls on Nov. 14 that addresses the most critical repairs throughout the district and has 0% impact to the tax levy.

The Capital Bond Referendum being put out in November would address critical repairs at each building in the current five-year plan. The Board fully expects to have additional bond referendums on the May Budget Vote as well, to further improve our schools. Please attend board meetings regularly as the board works to design this plan of action.

The preliminary project plan includes replacements and improvements to roofs, boilers, HVAC systems, electrical systems and windows throughout the district. Once the project plan is fully adopted by the Board, a full list of included repairs by building will be available on the district’s website, and in print at Central Office.

“Our facilities need more than $100 million worth of repairs in order to keep them safe, functional and conducive to learning,” Assistant Superintendent for Business Lisa Failla said. “If we are able to bond out a project this fall, we can fund $54 million of those repairs with 0% impact to the tax levy.” This is possible because the $54 million proposed bond would replace the bond that voters approved in 2000 to finance the construction of the middle school. Since 2000, the District has repaid this debt as part of its annual budget calculations and in 2019, it will be fully paid off. The District has a short window of opportunity to replace this expiring bond with a new bond that would preserve state aid. If the district does not replace the expiring bond with a new bond, it will lose state aid on any necessary repairs made that exceed the annual aidable maximum, which is $100,000. These expenditures, when needed, will have an impact on the tax levy.

Additionally, because the $54 million bond would not finance the totality of repairs and renovations that the district’s buildings require to remain safe and functional, the Board expects to present additional bond referendums during the annual budget vote in May 2019. Board President Lori Orestano-James said, “The board is committed to its original goal of ensuring that all necessary steps are taken to do what is needed for student safety and a quality education while acknowledging its fiscal responsibility to its taxpayers. We will work extensively during the 2018-19 school year to design a plan of action. We invite our residents to become involved by attending community events, special school events and Board meetings in the upcoming months as well as by keeping an eye on the district’s website and print publications as the process unfolds. This board is committed to being out in the community and answering questions from the public.”