The following press release is from the Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District.
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.
You may also click here to read the district newsletter regarding the vote.
The Briarcliff Manor School District will
hold a special vote on January 21st seeking community approval to undertake a capital
project that includes: remediation and refurbishment of the practice field on
the Briarcliff Middle/High School campus; purchasing land needed to complete
the practice field project; and removing asbestos at Todd Elementary School. The
vote will also seek approval to issue bonds to finance these projects and will be held on Tuesday, January 21st at Todd Elementary School between the hours of 6
a.m. and 9 p.m.
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 is seeking 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% 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,” said Superintendent of Schools James Kaishian. “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.”
In addition, for the safety of staff and students, the Todd School asbestos project is of paramount importance and being carried out in the interest of the health and safety of students and staff.
In accordance with a NYSDEC Consent Order, the District is legally obligated to conduct the field work, regardless of the outcome of the January 21st vote. If the proposed capital project and bond are not approved by the community, the District will still be required to undertake the project and will plan to fund the entire $1,525,000 out of the 2014-2015 school budget.
About the Work
The Practice Field: The District, in conjunction with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and District environmental consultants, developed a Remedial Action Work Plan to address issues with the softball field and practice field at the Middle School/High School campus. While the softball field has since been completed and will reopen this spring, the practice field work is scheduled to begin early this summer.
Both fields will be inspected, monitored and maintained regularly, adhering to a state-approved site management plan. The new practice field will be comprised of a natural grass surface to host modified soccer games, track and field events, physical education classes, recess activities, soccer and field hockey practice, and community soccer leagues.
The cost associated with the practice field project includes the acquisition of 1.82 acres of property owned by the New York State Department of Transportation, which is located adjacent to the practice field. This is a NYSDEC requirement to complete the project.
Asbestos Work at Todd Elementary School: This work will consist of asbestos removal from a large crawlspace, including the removal of underground piping insulation and some soil beneath the piping. Work will include the re-insulation of the piping with non-asbestos materials.
Use of Reserve Reduces Project Cost by 33%
In June 2010, the Board of Education established a reserve to help offset the cost of field remediation for the practice and softball fields at the Briarcliff Middle School/High School campus. During 2013, the District utilized some of this reserve to complete the remediation work on the softball field. There is an estimated $750,966 remaining in this reserve following the softball field work, all of which will be used for the practice field work.
After applying this reserve, the District would bond a total of $1,525,000 to fund the project. The cost of the bond would be spread out over the course of 10 years, with an estimated annual tax levy increase of 0.45% during that period, beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.
Tax Levy Cap Law
This project qualifies as an allowable exclusion under the tax levy cap law. Therefore, whichever way the project is funded, the $1,525,000 one-time payment or the principal and interest payment associated with the bond will be included in the tax levy limit calculation, and the corresponding increase in the levy limit will be allowed under the current tax levy cap law.
If the proposed capital project and bond are not approved by the community, the District will still be required to undertake the project and will have to fund the entire $1,525,000 out of the 2014-2015 school budget. The $1,525,000 one-time payment will be included in the tax levy limit calculation, and the corresponding increase in the levy limit will be allowed, as this project qualifies as an allowable exclusion under the law.