COLONIE – Voters in the South Colonie Central School District overwhelmingly approved borrowing $11 million to finish a four-phase renovation project and approved saving up to $10 million in a Capital Reserve Fund.
On Tuesday, Nov. 14, Voters approved funding Phase III and IV of the multi-year, districtwide plan to make upgrades at all district schools by a vote of 516 to 166.
The second proposition, to use excess general fund money to create a reserve to make capital improvements rather than borrow, passed 501 to 181.
Phases I and II, during which the district performed $16 million worth of upgrades and maintenance, are wrapping up and payments on the new bond will start as old debt is paid off so there is not any new impact to taxes. Plus, the state will pick up some 56.7 percent of the project.
Work on Phase III is slated to start in 2020 with the first payment due in the 2021-22 budget.
Money for the Capital Reserve Fund would come from any money left over after the book were closed and audited at the end of any given fiscal year. It would take Board of Education action to recommend how to specifically spend the money and then it would need voter approval.
For example, after a mild winter, money left from the snowplowing budget could be set aside in a Capital Reserve Fund. Saving for necessary work, officials said, is a cheaper alternative to borrowing since there are no interest payments.
Some Phase III and IV highlights include: