WVCSD presents tax-neutral capital improvement project at public hearing


WVCSD presents tax-neutral capital improvement project at public hearing

November 19, 2021

The Warwick Valley Central School District hosted a public hearing on the District’s 2021 Capital Improvement Project on Thursday, November 18. The vote is scheduled for Thursday, December 2 from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

The $13.8 million proposal would fund high-need infrastructure improvements at four schools, avoiding the need for costly emergency repairs in the coming years, creating valuable energy savings, and making a healthier and safer learning environment for students and staff.

Superintendent Dr. David Leach provided an overview of how the District utilizes a tax-neutral strategy to fund its capital projects. The District first prioritizes projects, then pays for them through a strategy that applies a combination of state building aid and its previously voter-approved capital reserve to reduce the impact on local taxpayers.

New York State created state building aid to incentivize communities to maintain their schools through the use of district capital reserve funds. Dr. Leach pointed out that the District will receive approximately 64 cents in NYS building aid on every dollar spent, accounting for an estimated $8.8 million of the total cost. The remaining $5 million would be drawn from the District’s capital reserve.

“As a school district, we are committed to prudent, annual budgeting for our annual operations and not creating an additional tax burden for major infrastructure projects,” said Dr. Leach. “We utilize a save-then-spend approach that allows us to build up capital reserves over time. We can then maximize state aid for buildings and grounds improvements by spending down those reserves. It is a systematic, proactive, planned approach that keeps our facilities up to par and saves money for our taxpayers.”

Dr. Leach also explained the specific projects within the 2021 Capital Improvement Project, including a new roof at Sanfordville Elementary School, new windows at Park Avenue Elementary, and new unit ventilators at the Middle School and High School. In addition, an expanded multi-sport natural grass athletic field at the stadium, a new track, and block wall outdoor restrooms are among other projects that are planned.

Details of all projects are listed on the Capital Project 2021 webpage: www.warwickvalleyschools.com/capitalproject2021


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