Dear Catskill CSD Community,
On Tuesday, February 12, 2019, you will have an opportunity to head to the polls to decide on a $40.8 million capital construction project. The project includes critical improvements to the safety and security of our buildings and grounds, upgrading aging building systems and infrastructure, and would create modern, healthier, more comfortable learning spaces for students. If approved by the community, construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2020.
As Superintendent, I take full responsibility of being a good steward of our community’s investment in our school district’s facilities very seriously. There are no “wish list” items. Every item on the proposal up for public vote addresses our most essential needs.
We have shared the details of this project since the fall. Throughout our public meetings, I have been clear regarding the total costs of the project and how much taxpayers will be responsible for. Although the scope of the project is $40.8 million dollars, taxpayers will only be responsible to pay $8.5 million dollars of principal of the project financed over a 15 year period. This is an average of $8.41 per month for individuals who live in a single family household. The amount is significantly less for individuals who qualify for STAR exemptions. The State Department of Education is reimbursing the district 69.5 cents on every eligible dollar spent on the project, which along with the $4 million in reserves, will greatly reduce the impact this project would have on local property taxes.
$40,795,000.00 Total Referendum Amount
– $28,352,525.00 Estimated building aid from State Department of Education
– $ 4,000,000.00 Money set-aside from Capital Reserves
$ 8,442,475.00 Principal Balance Amount to be Paid Over 15 years
Our children deserve to be educated in a safe, secure 21st century learning environment. I am requesting every registered able-bodied person to come out and vote to decide the future of our District. There are several households that have more than one registered voter. For those voters with mobility difficulties, we will be providing shuttle transportation from the parking lots directly to the middle school gym at the back of the school.
In closing, our secondary students will have an abbreviated schedule on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. Secondary students will be dismissed at 12:30pm and elementary students will have a full day of school. Please take a few minutes on Tuesday, February 12th to cast your ballot. Polls will be open, regardless of the weather, from 1-9PM, in the Middle School Gymnasium.
For our children,
Dr. Ronel Cook