To the editor:
As a member of the HVRSD Board of Education, I would like to comment on the upcoming district referendum and my reasons for supporting its approval. The opinions expressed are my own and are not intended to represent the board.
The projects included under the referendum are based upon a detailed review of district facilities conducted by the HVRSD administration and the board’s Finance and Facilities committee. The referendum covers those facilities projects deemed to be critical and in need of immediate attention. In prior years, the board has funded smaller roof replacement and HVAC projects under its annual budget, but the cost of the remaining projects far exceeds what can be covered in this manner (based upon the state’s general fund cap) without severely impacting academic programs.
The referendum will fund much-needed roof and window replacements to our aging buildings. HVAC upgrades will improve indoor air quality while reducing annual energy costs (demonstrated by prior installations). Renovations/additions at the high school will address cafeteria/kitchen, performing arts and wellness needs and enhance safety and security through improved control of access, while at the same time ensuring the building is ADA compliant.
The board is extremely mindful to ensure that the funds provided by district taxpayers are used wisely and effectively; in the past two years our annual budget increases have been historically low. Under a bond referendum the majority of projects are eligible for state Debt Service Aid, which covers up to 40 percent of costs; when conducted under the annual budget, the district pays 100 percent of their costs. When coupled with low current interest rates and the near-term retirement of existing debt, it is clearly a prudent time for the district to fund these projects.
Several information sessions on the referendum will be conducted during September, so I encourage you to attend one so that you may ask the administration and board members any questions you may have regarding the projects, their costs, the proposed financing and tax implications. I encourage voters to support passage of the referendum on Sept. 27, so that the district may get these critical infrastructure projects underway and complete them in the most cost-effective manner.
To the editor: