The Briarcliff Union Free School District has received the community’s approval for a bond for a capital project with 363 votes to 42 votes.
The vote, which ultimately gives the green light to address mandatory field work and asbestos removal, was held at Todd Elementary School from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 21. More than 400 residents braved a snowstorm that sent the district’s students home by 11:30 a.m. to cast their vote.
The Board of Education—Jennifer Rosen, Dina Brantman, Michael Haberman, Jonathan Satran, and Paul Wasserman—issued the following statement:
“The Board of Education would like to thank the community for giving its approval to allow the District to undertake a capital project that includes: the remediation and refurbishment of the practice field on the Briarcliff Middle/High School campus; purchasing land needed to complete the practice field project; removing asbestos at Todd Elementary School, and issuing bonds to finance these projects. We appreciate your ongoing support of our schools.”
The total cost of the project is projected to be $2,275,966. As the district has approximately $750,966 left in the reserve established in 2010 to help offset the cost of the field remediation, the district needed the approval to bond $1,525,000, which will be paid back over 10 years.
The repayment of the interest and principal is estimated to increase the total tax levy by approximately 0.45 percent each year, beginning in 2015-2016.
“Since our Remedial Action Work Plan was approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) over a year ago, the District has been in regular contact with involved state agencies to keep the process moving forward so that our students and community can benefit from the full complement of fields available in Briarcliff,” Superintendent of Schools James Kaishian said.
“A bond issue is the most responsible option to fund this project – it minimizes the impact it will have on our budget and will not compromise our ability to support current and future programmatic needs. Significant reserve monies are already being used to offset the total cost,” he added.
In accordance with a NYSDEC consent order, the district is legally obligated to conduct the field work--regardless of the outcome of yesterday’s vote. If the proposed capital project and bond were not approved by the community, the district would have been required to undertake the project, leaving the entire $1,525,000 tab on its 2014-2015 school budget.
For more information about the capital project and the bond, click here.
Residents can find more information about the vote on the Briarcliff Manor School District website at www.briarcliffschools.org under the Athletic Fields Restoration icon on the homepage. Residents may also ask questions by contacting Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Stuart Mattey at 941-8880 ext. 4016 or by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.