June 12, 2016
Hyde Park’s vote to approve the HPES bond project realizes an unprecedented and seemingly unbelievable—yet very real—opportunity: Our community will, at last, be able to bring our school up to code and ensure a healthy, safe environment for our children. Yet, as the result of the Act 46 merger and a smart, strategic debt management plan throughout our new district— our tax rate will actually go down over time as a function of this bond. If you didn’t get the chance to hear this explained please watch it here. http://greenmountainaccess.tv/project/public-hearing-excerpt-hpes-proposed-bond-6216/
Here is some of what your ‘yes’ vote accomplished, Hyde Park:
1. We will have a fully code-compliant school that should need no significant upgrades for forty years.
2. Our school will be safe (fire alarm and suppression systems, code-width hallways and stairs, etc.) and accessible (elevator, entrances and exists, etc.) for all members of our community.
3. By passing this by mid-June, we are on track to be on the 2017 construction season schedule, meaning that we have only one more year in which we’ll face the kind of system failures we have been patching in each of the recent years.
4. Reducing our exposure to costly emergency repairs is critical because emergency repairs are paid for out of the existing operating budget and/or emergency loans. Either of these strategies exposes us to unpredictable spikes in our tax rates, as well as straight tax penalties because only long-term bonded debt is excluded from the so-called ‘spending threshold penalties.’
5. We will be borrowing at a time when interest rates are historically low.
6. Good school facilities appeal to potential home buyers whom we seek to attract.
7. Parking will be increased significantly, and traffic flow (both vehicle and pedestrian) will be much safer.
8. Chiefly, we are fixing our school AND, as a result of the merger and smart planning, nonetheless able to drive down our tax rate.