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Frequently Asked Questions

Downloadable FAQ (PDF)

 

  • Why a bond referendum now?
    A bond referendum permits the district to borrow money up to the amount specified in the voter-approved capital project bond referendum. The cost of these repairs, renovations and upgrades could not be absorbed into the regular operating budget without significantly impacting instructional programming for students.

    Additionally, the retiring local share from the previous bond project presents an opportunity for this project to be considered without increasing the local tax burden. As the previous local share retires, the local share from this project will take its place.

    If approved, when will the work begin?
    The district anticipates the work will be completed in two phases. Construction for the smaller first phase is expected to take place between the summer of 2019 and fall of 2020. The second larger phase is expected to take place between the summer of 2020 and fall of 2021.

    From a financial perspective, the two phases are planned to help ensure a tax neutral impact. The local share for this project is being timed to match the retiring local share on the prior bond project, so that there is no additional burden on the taxpayer.

    What is the tax impact for the average homeowner?

    There is no additional tax impact to the average homeowner, due to the timing of the retiring local share being matched to the new local share.

    Why is there a need for these projects?
    To address the capital construction needs of our facilities due to aging infrastructure, deteriorating buildings and enhancing our security. The plan is centered around three key areas – safety, students and structural improvements.

    How was the proposed scope of work decided?
    The Board of Education established a Facilities Committee, comprised of Board members, administrators, staff, parents and community residents. Working with the district’s architect, the committee carefully analyzed the facilities in the areas of health, safety and security, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, needed instructional space upgrades, athletic fields throughout the district, preventative maintenance, energy efficiency and technology. The scope of work is based upon the committee’s recommendation to the Board.

    How was the cost of the bond determined?
    The district’s architects developed the plans and projected costs based on their professional experience and knowledge of the market. These projections include contingencies for unforeseen factors and design modifications.

    What is the district’s present debt and when does it retire?
    The district has $17,633,150 remaining debt from the previous bond project, which equates to approximately $5.7 million per year. The majority of this debt retires in 2020-21, with a smaller final payment of $601,800 in 2021-22.

    Why is this an opportune time to borrow to finance the proposed projects?
  • The retiring local share from the previous bond project presents an opportunity for this project to be considered without increasing the local tax burden. As the previous local share retires, the local share from this project will take its place.
  • Interest rates remain at low levels and estimates for borrowing bond anticipation notes are in the 1.0% and lower range, while bonds are in the 2.3-2.6% range.
  • This bond will enable the district to take advantage of the expected New York State reimbursement of 70% for the cost of aidable approved projects, which we estimate will result in 89% of the project receiving state building aid. State aid will vary because New York State aids districts according to the type of space that is being constructed or renovated.

 

How much state aid will the district receive on this bond?
It is anticipated that the district will receive 70% in state aid of the assumed principal and interest of aidable project scope.

What has the district done to lessen the tax impact on residents?
The district and Board of Education is mindful of any tax impact to its community and is attempting to time the completion of these projects with the retiring local share, so that there is no additional tax impact on the residents.

What if the bond is defeated?
The conditions of our schools will continue to deteriorate, and repairs and renovations will still be needed. Any necessary major work will need to be included in future annual budgets and will significantly increase costs to taxpayers.

Would construction impact students or staff?
No, work will take place either over the summer months or during nights, weekends and regularly scheduled school closures to prevent any disruption to the education of our students.

Where can voter information be obtained?
Voter information and absentee ballots can be found on the district’s website. Visit this link: http://www.eischools.org/.

Don’t we budget for these improvements?
Capital improvements of this scale cannot be included in the operating budget without impacting the tax levy in a significant way. Using a bond spreads out the cost over a longer period of time and mitigates the annual tax impact.

What is the difference between the energy performance and bond?
An Energy Performance Contract (EPC) is a financing tool that uses cost savings (cost avoidance) from reduced energy consumption to repay the cost of installing energy conservation measures, such as lighting, thermostats, solar panels, etc. The costs of the energy improvements to the district are financed ($15.4 million) and paid back out of the energy savings. The projection for the EPC’s savings are expected to exceed the initial cost by $8 million over the life of the project (16 years). The board approved the contract and then got voter approval to increase the New York State aid reimbursement by 10% so the projected long-range savings is over $9 million. The EPC is a capital improvement but is offset by operational savings (energy savings).

A New York State municipal bond issued by a school district finances building and capital improvement projects and requires voter approval. A proposition is placed before the voters as a ballot measure, asking them to vote on the proposed spending ($57.9 million bond and $2 million use of existing reserves). As with any obligation, the debt is repaid with interest over the term. The district is expected to receive 70% New York State building aid returned on 89% of the proposed work. Examples of non-aidable work (no reimbursement by New York State) is the district office’s roof repair and replacing the district’s maintenance barn behind RCK. The net cost to the taxpayer is less than $25 million for approximately $60 million of facilities work. New York State Building Aid is paid to the district over 15 years and lines up with the bond obligation’s term and the capital portion of the district’s existing budget footprint (note: capital portion of the budget, not the operational portion of the budget) to avoid tax rate volatility. The district’s fiscal advisers reviewed the building aid figures and the scope of work to ensure the Board was presented with accurate aid information and repayment schedule.


Friday, August 17, 2018