Taxpayers will decide if the New London School District can address its maintenance needs.
Due to budget cuts over the past few years, the New London School District has done its best to reduce expenditures. However, the district is now asking for the community’s help to address maintenance needs on buildings that had to be postponed due to lack of funds.
Last month school board members discussed resolutions for a $500,000 referendum that would address roofs and facilities maintenance, ensure safe and secure buildings and maximize student achievement efforts.
Board members continued the discussion during their regular scheduled meeting on Monday, Aug. 11 with all members in attendance. After sharing their thoughts and opinions about a recurring referendum verses a non-recurring referendum, members approved 7-0 the resolution for a $500,000 four year non-recurring referendum.
The tax impact on this amount for a $200,000 home would be approximately $100 a year. According to Joe Marquardt, director of Business Services, the tax impact should create a flat levy for the next four years. However, even with a $500,000 referendum there could still be an overall increase of up to 1.5 percent because of changing variables during the referendum process.
These variables include the Oct. 15 Equalization Aid certification and the final 2014-15 Revenue Limit authority.
Marquardt further explained that over the four years, the tax impact would be $400. A key point mentioned was that after four years, the high school will be 100 percent paid for and that will result in about a $400 reduction in taxes.
“This does not mean we can spend more money,” Marquardt said. “Simply the debt will be paid off and there will be a reduction in taxes.”
The majority of the funding will go to roofing projects at the Intermediate/Middle School and Readfield Elementary school.
Marquardt shared with board members and administrators a roof planning schedule that prioritizes sections of the roof that would need to be fixed within the four years. The entire project is estimated at $1.4 million.
To prove the immediate need of new roofing, Marquardt stated that the middle school roof had leaked as the result of heavy, driving rain that New London experienced prior to the start of the meeting.
“Certain sections of the roof leak anytime we have rain,” Marquardt said. “If you walk in from the front entrance and look up to the ceiling on the right, you’ll see water stains from the leaking.”
The remaining $600,000 will address security issues, asphalt projects, boiler maintenance, and aid in the districts goal to continue to maximize student achievement.
The district is committed to providing all the necessary information for the referendum to ensure taxpayers that their money will be spent wisely. With the school board’s approval of the referendum, the district’s next step will be to schedule several open meetings throughout the community to inform, answer questions and seek input about the referendum.