Residents of the Huntington School District will be asked to authorize creation of a new Building Improvement Fund when they go to the polls on Tuesday, May 16. The new fund would replace two similar ones that are expiring.
School officials are seeking permission to create the new fund for the purpose of completing district wide renovation and reconstruction projects. Establishing the fund will have no impact on taxes.
Use of successive Building Improvement Funds has allowed the Huntington School District to largely avoid the need for selling bonds and incurring debt service payments to update its facilities. The district has one of the lowest levels of debt of any school system on Long Island. By avoiding bonding, taxes have been kept lower than they otherwise would have been.
“Use of the district’s Building Improvement Funds have helped considerably to keep 60 year-old buildings in top shape with needed improvements and upgrades, all of which are delineated within a long-term capital plan,” Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “Establishment of a new fund will allow the district to continue such work responsibly, as well as to keep debt levels at their currently low levels.”
As is the case for the current funds, existing budget monies would once again be used to capitalize the new fund. If in any given year the district spends less money than it had originally anticipated, these surplus monies could be transferred by the Huntington School Board into the new Building Improvement Fund.
Monies contained in the Building Improvement Fund can only be used for capital projects, such as new school roofs, windows, doors, boilers, facility improvements, etc. None of the monies can be used for general school district expenditures.
If residents approve the proposition, the district would be authorized to create the new fund for a probable term of eight years. It can be capitalized by the transfer of up to $12.5 million in surplus budget funds over its lifetime. Residents would still have to give permission before the district actually begins any project.
Huntington UFSD would be able to apply for state aid on any capital project it completes. The fund would also utilize existing monies and allow the district to avoid borrowing funds through a bond issue. Passage of the proposition will not increase taxes.
Residents can vote on the Building Improvement Fund proposition, along with a second capital proposition to release existing Building Improvement Fund monies along with the proposed 2017/18 budget and candidates for two Huntington School Board seats on Tuesday, May 16 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the lobby at Huntington High School.