Huntington School Board members have approved a capital reserve fund proposition and placed it on the May 18 ballot. If residents approve the proposal it will fund an estimated $3.525 million worth of projects. It will not result in any increase in taxes since the monies already exist in a reserve fund established to cover costs with renovation and reconstruction work.
Huntington UFSD’s use of capital reserve funds has allowed the district to avoid borrowing large sums of money, incurring interest costs and accumulating debt. The district currently has about $1.2 million in long-term debt, which is substantially below almost every other Long Island school district.
If residents approve release of the Building Improvement Fund monies, the district will be able to complete all of the projects without needing to bond or borrow any of the funds necessary. There will no tax rate impact if the funds are released. The district will also be eligible to be reimbursed by the state for approximately 39 percent of final costs.
The projects that will be on the May 18 ballot include:
Huntington High School
• Partial roof replacement: $1.45 million
J. Taylor Finley Middle School
• Replacement of original 1965 gymnasium bleachers; replacement of substantial portion of gymnasium hallway flooring; Phase I reconstruction of the parking lot: $1.175 million
Jefferson Primary School
• Replace original two boilers installed in 1962: $900,000
District total: $3,525.000
The monies in the capital reserve fund represent dollars already provided to the district by taxpayers that, because of stringent fiscal management and economizing through the years, weren’t needed to pay for regular school operations. The source of the funding is the annual transfer of surplus monies from the district’s general fund.
Should the proposition pass on May 18, the district’s architectural and engineering firm of BBS will formally design each of the projects and submit the plans to the State Education Department for approval. Once SED approval is received, the district will seek bids for the work. District officials are hopeful that the bids will come in below estimates, lowering the cost of the projects.