Why is a bond project needed?
The improvements proposed through this capital project bond referendum will address the critical infrastructural needs of our facilities, improve learning environment and resources for all students, and upgrade arts and athletic facilities.
What is the difference between a bond and the tax levy?
An easy way to remember the difference: Levies are for Learning. Bonds are for Building. Levies and bonds are different funding measures and are used for different things. The amount of taxes levied helps to fund the district’s general budget and is used to support programs, services and annual operations. Bonds pay for larger-scale, long-term capital projects such as renovation or reconstruction of facilities that cannot be included in an annual budget without having a significant impact on the tax levy.
How was the plan developed?
The Board of Education established a Facilities Advisory Committee, comprised of stakeholders from multiple groups and members of district administration, who worked collaboratively over the last two years to review the current state of our facilities, speak with staff about the programmatic needs of our schools and review financial data, before developing a list of projects for consideration. These projects were then prioritized, and a recommendation was presented to the Board of Education. At their second March meeting, the Board approved the finalized scope of work to present to the community for a vote.
What does the project entail?
The proposed project will provide all school and district buildings with significant improvements, including updates to school libraries, auditoriums, playgrounds and athletic fields; repairs to building masonry, sidewalks and curbing; ADA compliance-related updates; and upgrades to HVAC and electrical systems. In addition, a storage facility will be created to allow for maintenance equipment and chemical storage to be moved out of the High School. A new “field house” is also planned for the High School with sanitary facilities, which would not only provide a comfort station during our robust physical education and athletic programs, but would also enhance security protocols, as visitors will no longer need to enter our high school during outdoor events.
Doesn’t the district budget for these improvements?
Capital improvements of this scale cannot be included in the operating budget without impacting the tax levy in a significant way. Using a bond spreads the cost out over a longer period of time, mitigating the annual tax impact and maximizing the New York State reimbursement rate, estimated to be about 67.6%.
Why is this an ideal time to propose a capital improvement bond project?
The retiring debt incurred from previous bond projects presents an optimal opportunity for this project to be considered without increasing the local tax burden. That is because, in essence, the new debt associated with the proposed bond referendum will essentially replace the old debt. Then, when coupled with New York State Building Aid – which stands at 67.6% for Connetquot – and a $9,690,913 allocation from our capital reserve fund, the district will be able to fully fund the bond without impacting taxpayers. However, timing on this is key, as the rollover from old to new debt must be timed precisely and the window of opportunity for that is narrow, which is why the schedule of the vote is important.
Can the monies being used to support the bond be allocated toward any other budget areas?
No. These funds are specifically earmarked for construction/capital work and cannot be used to support other areas of the district’s general operating budget.
What is the term of the bond and how long will it take to complete the projects?
The borrowing period for the bond is 15 years. Pending approval from the State Education Department, and due to the nature of the work, the project is expected to take approximately 3 years to complete, based on scope, SED review back log, third party review and input needed from all end users as part of the design process.
If the project is approved, what will be the average tax impact to community residents?
If this proposition is approved, there will be NO additional tax impact to residents.
Can the district spend more than the amount of an approved bond?
No. By law, the district is prohibited from spending above the amount approved by voters.
Where can I find more information about the proposal?
A full list of the proposed projects is on the district website, www.ccsdli.org.
Who can I ask questions of? Mr. John Allen, Assistant to the Superintendent can be reached at 631-244-2215 x 3401. Dr. Lynda Adams, Superintendent can be reached at 631-244-2215 x 3508. Our PTA presidents have also provided an invitation for any member of the community to ask questions at their upcoming meetings:
CO Board Room
Additional presentations have been scheduled with the following Civic Associations:
Bohemia Civic Association – May 1st at 7:00 PM – Sycamore Auditorium
Ronkonkoma Civic Association – May 9th at 7:00 PM – RMS Auditorium
What are some of the projects?
Middle School Projects
High School Projects
District Wide Projects