Board of Education President Says Bond Issue is Best Option for Farwell

October 28, 2019

Dear Editor:
As the President of the Farwell Area Schools Board of Education, I worked with community members, my board colleagues and the district administration for several weeks to develop a new bond proposal for voters to consider.

I am proud to say this proposal now before the voters prioritizes taxpayer dollars for the most critical school needs and limits long-term indebtedness to reduce the financial burden on residents.

Under this new proposal the long-term indebtedness was cut by nearly six years.  And, by reducing the length of debt and scaling back the project scope by $4.4 million, the district was able to cut the tax rate by .37 mills and deliver nearly $8 million dollars in interest savings for taxpayers.

The reality is Farwell Schools has unavoidable and critical facility and infrastructure needs.  We can’t ignore these problems any longer.  They will not go away and they will only get worse.  The longer these improvements are deferred the more costly they become, taking more and more dollars out of the classroom to pay for emergency repairs and inefficient system costs.

As school board members, we are obligated to act in the best interest of the district, its taxpayers and its students.  I strongly believe this bond proposal represents the most fiscally prudent option for us all.

For an additional $3.00 a month more from the average homeowner, Farwell Area Schools will make the critical upgrades that are so desperately needed.  This will include renovations to the elementary school, upgrades to the 32-year old boiler systems, upgrades to the middle and high school roofs, the installation of security and fire safety system enhancements, a new elementary school parking area to enhance student safety, the addition of a new preschool and daycare center, the replacement of the elementary school gym floor, and the resurfacing of the old high school gym floor and the track.

Although a sinking fund option was explored extensively, it simply cannot generate enough revenue to address the district’s immediate, most critical needs.  No matter how you try to do the math on this, it just doesn’t add up!  And, if you consider the long-term costs and impacts, it actually costs us all more.

The board is developing a strategic plan for future infrastructure and facility needs to prevent the school district from getting into this situation again.  Once the district’s most critical and long overdue problems are addressed with the bond, the sinking fund option should prove to be an excellent mechanism for implementing our savings plan for future capital improvements.

For now, the new bond proposal represents the best option for all.  Please vote yes on November 5th!

Thank you,
Joe Maxey
Farwell Area Schools
Board of Education

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