We are pleased to announce that the 2022 Capital Improvement Project vote has passed! We thank everyone for taking the time to vote and for your continued support of our schools. BELOW ARE THE FULL VOTING RESULTS:
Proposition 1: Capital Project Shall the Board of Education of the Fort Ann Central School District, Washington County, NY be authorized to: Engage in the construction, reconstruction and alterations to the School District’s buildings, bus garage, and athletic fields, including an inground bus lift at the bus garage, multi-sport turf field and softball turf field, and parking lots, and to acquire original furnishings, equipment or apparatus required for the purpose for which the School District buildings are intended to be used in said School District and related site work at a total cost not to exceed $9,975,000 and that the sum of $9,975,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary, shall be raised by the levy of a tax upon the taxable property of said School District and collected in annual installments as provided by Section 416 of the Education Law, and, in anticipation of such tax, obligations of said School District shall be issued.
RESULTS: 113 Yes, 47 No
Proposition 2: Expenditure of Funds Shall the Board of Education of the Fort Ann Central School District, Washington County, NY be authorized to: If Proposition #1 above is approved by the qualified voters of the School District, expend the sum of $500,000 from the Capital Reserve Fund previously established by the qualified voters of the District on May 15, 2018 to be used for the purpose of paying a portion of the cost of the project referenced in Proposition #1 above.
RESULTS: 112 Yes, 47 No
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
The Fort Ann Central School District Board of Education is asking residents to vote on a $9.975 million Capital Project on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 from noon-8 p.m. in the old gymnasium.
The project will fix aging infrastructure, renovate the "B wing" of the old Elementary portion of the school, and improve athletic facilities.
Funding for the local share of the Capital Project will come in the form of $500,000 from the Capital Reserve that was established in 2018, an additional $500,000 from unappropriated unassigned fund balance (savings), and $200,000 from accumulated debt reserve balance. In addition to the anticipated 76.1% Building Aid Fort Ann will receive from NYS, the district will be utilizing $86,680 in EXCEL Aid, which are project costs reimbursed to the district from NYS at 100%. As a result, there will be no additional tax impact for residents.
For more details, please click here to view the Capital Project newsletter and watch the video below. Also, please scroll down to read some questions and answers.
Q & A
Q. Perhaps this is an unpopular question, but what is the plan for the $600,000 to $800,000 expense every 8 to 10 years to replace the turf fields (as that is their maximum life expectancy)? That expense would obviously need to be absorbed by someone (tax payers). While turf fields are beautiful and certainly nice to play on, they are not without their additional expense and annual maintenance. This feels like a lot of money for their short life expectancy per student when broken down by the shrinking student body at the school and as data shows, even potential student population in the area in general.
A: We currently have a $200,000 repair reserve and plan to additionally fund this reserve with surplus funds at the end of each fiscal year. The replacement of the turf field after its useful life would be eligible for NYS Building Aid. We are taking proactive steps and plan to ensure the longest possible useful life for the turf.
Q. Why did the district decide to undertake this project now?A: Items such as our PA system and fire alarms are at the end of or well past their useful lives and have the ability to negatively impact the safety of students. In addition, the timing of the project is designed to coincide with debt coming off the books. Construction for this project won’t begin until July 2024. By the time the bond for this project is issued, other debt will be paid off, which means that one revenue stream for the district – NYS Building Aid – will dry up. To continue generating NYS Building Aid, the best practice is for the district to plan and undertake capital projects. That way, the district can maintain and improve the learning environment, residents can protect their investment in the school facility, and the district can ensure a stable and predictable tax levy for years to come.
Q. How can the district afford to undertake a capital improvement project and pay all the regular expenses associated with running a school?
A: The regular annual budget for the district is appropriately funded for teaching and learning. Capital Improvement Projects come from an entirely separate budget. The district receives a large amount of NYS Aid on capital projects ~ the state pays for 76.1% of the projects we do, which means the portion that local taxpayers have to bear is less than a quarter of the entire cost. Through prudent, long-term fiscal management and planning, the district will cover the local share of this capital project through the Capital Reserve Fund, Fund Balance, and Excel Aid. This project will not increase the current tax rates for taxpayers.
Q. If NYS pays for over 76% of the Capital Project, and I pay NYS taxes, will my NYS taxes increase because of the project?
A. No. NYS set aside $3.2 billion for 2022-23 Building Aid. Fort Ann will need to file reports to access $7.5 million of these funds. Even if Fort Ann did not apply for these funds, it would not affect the amount residents pay in NYS taxes.
Q. Will there be lights installed on the new fields?
A: Lights are not part of this capital project, but we will have the ability to install them in the future, if residents approve.
Q. How will the improvements in the old Elementary “B” Wing impact students?
A: The old elementary school has not been updated in decades. The improvements will help create a better learning environment for our students. The project includes new flooring, ceiling system and interior doors and frames.
Q. Will the Elementary students be displaced during construction?
A: No, work in the “B” wing will be completed during the summer months.