Of­fi­cial de­tail ef­fects of pro­posed school project

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By William J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com

School district of­fi­cials give an es­ti­mate as to what a cap­i­tal project propo­si­tion would cost the av­er­age home­owner.

School of­fi­cials es­ti­mate a $12.09 mil­lion cap­i­tal project propo­si­tion would cost the av­er­age home­owner $78.04 an­nu­ally over the 18 years that the fi­nanc­ing bonds would be re­paid.

Vot­ers will de­cide the is­sue in a ref­er­en­dum sched­uled for Dec. 6, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Bulke­ley Mid­dle School, 45 North Park Road.

The fig­ures were pro­vided dur­ing a Board of Ed­u­ca­tion public hear­ing last week, with district As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent Thomas Bur­nell say­ing the ad­di­tional ex­pense will not af­fect the state limit on prop­erty tax levy in­creases.

“If we get a pos­i­tive re­sult here, the pay­ment of that debt ser­vice does not count to­ward the tax cap,” he said.

A re­port by the district states that an­nual debt pay­ments will be re­duced from $1.71 mil­lion in 2021 to $1.04 mil­lion in 2022, but the amount of state aid will have a cor­re­spond­ing drop from $771,497 to $44,172.

“In a cou­ple of years, we’re hav­ing some of our (cur­rent) debt (paid) off,” he said.

“The orig­i­nal (Bulke­ley Mid­dle School debt) will be com­ing off in a cou­ple years and that’s re­duc­ing the debt,” Bur­nell said. “So we have re­tir­ing debt, which will ... help off­set the cost of this project.”

Bur­nell said the $78.04 es­ti­mated an­nual cost was based on a prop­erty val­ued at $291,500 and claim­ing a $38,580 STAR tax ex­emp­tion. He also said about 95 per­cent of the project should be el­i­gi­ble for state aid, which would have a re­im­burse­ment rate of about 36.8 per­cent.

“Most of this is go­ing to be al­low­able,” he said. “There’s go­ing to be a cou­ple items where the state is go­ing to say this is not an al­low­able ex­pense, some­thing that they call or­di­nary main­te­nance.”

Items in­cluded in the pro­posed project are sim­i­lar at both the mid­dle-high school build­ing and Chan­cel­lor Liv­ingston Ele­men­tary School. In­cluded are in­te­rior doors and hard­ware, kitchen ceil­ings, tele­phone sys­tems, en­trance handrails, sky­lights, roof lad­ders, roof re­coat­ing, ex­te­rior doors and win­dows, and light­ing re­place­ment.

Other projects in­clude in­stalling an emer­gency backup gen­er­a­tor in the mid­dle-high school and adding acous­ti­cal tiles to the gym walls.

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