What is a Capital Project?
It is like home improvements for schools. By NYS Law, the school district inspects its property regularly, working with an architect to maintain a five-year, capital improvement plan. Some issues require immediate attention, while other repairs and upgrades can be spread out over time.
How was the new project scope of work identified?
The scope of the project was developed from the 2015-16 New York State mandated Building Condition Survey along with input from the Fort Plain Facilities Committee. Almost $24 million in potential work items were initially identified. The facilities committee walked through each facility, prioritizing work using a weighted formula based heavily on safety, security, and energy performance in an effort to best maintain the building’s infrastructure for our students and taxpayers.
How can an $11.2 million project result in no new taxes?
Fort Plain Central School District has an estimated Building Aid Ratio of 94.9%. This means that the state will reimburse the cost of the project at that rate. The additional cost would be funded by our existing voter-approved Capital Reserve fund. Based on these estimates, the proposed Capital Project will not result in a tax levy increase.
Wouldn’t it have been better for the district to include some funds in its annual budget each year to complete this work?
When expenditures for improvements and major repairs are paid for from the general fund budget, they are not eligible for any reimbursement from the state. Adding appropriations to the budget would create an increase in the tax levy. The district always allows for routine maintenance expenditures in the general fund budget. However, for extensive repairs and improvements, it is advantageous to handle those expenditures through a Capital Project, which does not create a financial strain on the residents of the district. The proposed repairs and upgrades address major infrastructure needs that protect the community’s long-term investment in our school facilities. Our plan avoids the prospect of creating an unnecessary future burden for local taxpayers.