Press-Republican

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June 16, 2014

State aid available for Plattsburgh City School project

PLATTSBURGH — Information about the tax impact of Plattsburgh City School's proposed multi-million-dollar capital project will be available in the coming weeks. 

"We will be producing annual debt-service charts and refunding-serial-bond charts to correspond with the specific project scope," Superintendent James "Jake" Short told the Press-Republican in an email.  "In this way, taxpayers will not only be able to see specifically the state share and local effort needed but also specific tax-rate implications."

The work has been divided into two phases and is estimated to cost about $15 million in all. 

The Syracuse-based municipal advisory firm Fiscal Advisors & Marketing Inc. projected the annual local share of the full project value at about $234,000, according to Short. 

Phase 1, which is scheduled to go up for public vote by Aug.12, will address emergency maintenance needs and is expected to cost about $9 million.

However, the district has not yet broken down the debt service for that portion of the project alone. 

The school has $367,347 in state EXCEL aid to put toward the improvements, Short noted, along with a state building-aid ratio of 78.1 percent. 

"Bonds would be amortized over 15 years, and they would not be first due until 2017," he said.  

The district, Short continued, could also benefit from discussions at the state level about building aid for school safety and the introduction of financial enhancements for technology.

However, he said, "we didn't factor these possible advantages in as of yet; they have not been completely vetted through the state system." 

Email Ashleigh Livingston: alivingston@pressrepublican.com

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