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Bond Referendum Community Meeting This Wednesday

The district will host a meeting at the high school to discuss a possible bond referendum on capitol improvements district-wide.

The Miller Place School District will host a community meeting this Wednesday to discuss a possible bond referendum based on a presentation given at their last board meeting. 

The board discussed the possibility of making some capitol improvements throughout the district through a new bond referendum that could cost the district a couple of million dollars (if all the proposed projects were approved).

The money would be funded through a bond, which are kind of like promissory notes. They aren’t financially risky, but are paid off through property taxes over the course of a certain amount of time. Bonds also add to the district’s overall debt.

However, the district said it has cracked tennis courts, needs a new roof, and could save money long-term by investing in some solar panels. The district presented some of the projects they are considering to put up for a bond referendum. Those include:

  • Solar Panels
  • Safety Glazing & Cafeteria Doors
  • Phone System
  • Replace/Repair the Track
  • Install Sports Lighting
  • Turf Stadium field
  • Turf Upper field
  • Turf Back field
  • Rebuild Varsity Baseball/Softball Infields
  • Replace/Repair 8 HS Tennis Courts
  • Bollards in front of the main entrance
  • Install Gas Service 

The board has the ability to pick and choose what will be included in the bond before it gets put up to a vote. The district has decided to host a meeting to allow for community members to get up to speed on where they stand. The meeting will be this Wednesday at the high school auditorium beginning at 7 p.m.

Anton January 28, 2014 at 03:07 PM
Most of what I see above is athletics-related spending. I don't see anything on that list that will prepare my child for college, or any additional spending on science/technology, etc. This is why not only this district, but this country lags behind many others in math and science. Any funding for robotics? Maybe it's just not listed, but if you're spending millions on tennis courts and ball fields, and not a dime on something that will actually give my child a skill that will be useful, this would be a crime in my opinion, and should not be allowed. Where are our priorities? Math scores have been decreasing every year since 2005, and we decide to spend more money on tennis courts? WTF? This is sickening...our taxes will probably go up $1000/year to pay for this, don't let them give you misleading information in flyers like the last bond.
Justin Time January 28, 2014 at 03:24 PM
good point Anton..hope there are more out there that want whats best for their children, not what looks good to those who pass by. Seems our voters are more tuned into "reality"rather than realistic.
Reddawn1 January 28, 2014 at 03:49 PM
Specifically for Anton and Justin time.... Take a ride to Mt. Sinai school district and talk to parents there. They have amazingly incorporated sports/ sports facilities with academics. Teamwork, Discipline, Critical thinking skills, Pride in one self and others, Caring, Good Health, Sense of Community, Volunteering, Overcoming obstacles on the field and in life. These are all the qualities I want my children to have for college and for a lifetime. What say you?
Justin Time January 28, 2014 at 04:24 PM
Better yet, take a ride to the bronx, visit the schools that are rat infested, ceilings falling from leaky roofs, teachers complaining about the smell of dead mice in the walls, and talk to the students that want to learn and have a carreer. Funny and sad how spoiled we are on long island due to high taxes.
Reddawn1 January 28, 2014 at 06:15 PM
That's right, don't address the issues because you can't rebut the truth.
Wlodek January 29, 2014 at 07:37 AM
At this time this bond proposal is a wish list, whose cost is not well known. I agree with those who point out the lack of focus on education and that the neglect of maintenance, which has lead to the need of costly repairs or rebuilding of entire fields. This is in view of the fact that MPSD has been carrying a multi million dollar surplus in its budget every year for many years.
Wlodek January 29, 2014 at 07:38 AM
If approved in its entirety the bond will lock in the tax rate increases, which are few times higher than the limit established by the 2 percent cap. This is because all payments of the debt are excluded from two percent tax cap. Consequently an unaffordable tax rate growth will be locked in for the duration of the bond.
Anton January 29, 2014 at 12:51 PM
Reddawn...please read again what I wrote. Did I suggest eliminating sports? The truth is, everything you mentioned can be accomplished without spending millions of dollars on turf, lighting and new ballfields. These are qualities dependent on many other things, including how children are raised, their coaches, how the athletes treat their fellow students, etc. You mention pride, a sense of community, volunteering, etc. How about those that actually play on the fields volunteer to help maintain them? Are you telling me those ballfields couldn't be made beautiful again with a little elbow grease? Or should all of us shell out another $1000/yr in taxes and just hand it to them? What do you think will develop their "sense of community?" What say you? Whenever someone mentions cutting money (or not giving more money) to sports, there is always someone that argues this point. Also, you didn't address my concerns....what about actually EDUCATING our students and making sure they are equipped for college and competing in the world job market? Are tennis courts going to do that? Doubtful. That new administration building we paid millions for isn't either. If taxes are going to be raised, the money should be spent on education.
Janet January 30, 2014 at 11:43 AM
I was at the meeting last night and from my position I believe that the sports expenditures were added to the bond referendum because the security is in the bond and what parent would vote no to make their children safer. Here we go again, smoke & mirrors. It was suggested last night that the security be paid for with the 3 million dollar reserve fund but the explaination was that fund is for emergency purposes. Then it was suggested that two bonds be proposed, one for the security and one for the sports. Higuera said she wasn't sure that was possible to propose two bonds at the same time. Justin Time, I went to private school in the city for 12 years. We had 60 kids in my class for 8 of those 12 years, then at least 40 in high school and we all learned, graduated, and went on to have good careers. If a kid has the desire to learn he will. I had no sports in the lower grades and I did fine. Reddawn 1-you are either an administrator, a teacher or a parent with several kids in school who love sports. I have a suggestion for you-perhaps you should pay for your childrens sports instead of expecting the overburdened tax payer to do it. After all not everyone in the MP school district is rich.
Wlodek January 30, 2014 at 12:30 PM
Janet, good points. For the record two bond proposals were voted on in 2010, one for admin building and a classroom that was not needed and one for "turf and lights'. The latter was voted down and the former passed. If the bond is proposed as per yesterday's presentation it must be rejected. There is room in the budget to pay for security upgrades. The questions to ask the BOE and the MPSD's Superintendent is: Could the bond be proposed if the security upgrades were not there?
Candace Lindemann January 31, 2014 at 03:40 PM
This was shared and may answer a few questions people have: http://www.millerplace.k12.ny.us/files/filesystem/BondPresentation_%2001-29-14.pdf
Reddawn1 January 31, 2014 at 05:59 PM
This has nothing to do with being rich. I understand that approx. 75% of this 7.5 million dollar bond package will be paid for by the state. This leaves approx. 2 million dollars for MP taxpayers to come up with. However, in 2015, 2016. and 2019 there will be retired debt service in the amount to cover the 2 million left over . If the MP school board proposes the bond this way there will be a ZERO (0) tax increase to MP residents. Way to skew the facts Janet and that's putting it politely!
Janet January 31, 2014 at 06:47 PM
It was stated at the meeting that each household would have approximately a $ 70- per year increase. I am not skewing the facts. There will NEVER be a 0 percent tax increase in MPSD. I have lived here for 39 years and there has never been no increase. You can put it as politely as you want or you can say right out. Do you really believe that they will use the retiring debt to pay this bond off? You are either very NIEVE or a teacher, administrator or a parent with several children in school. This year it's security foyers, roofs and turf, What will next years "wish list" as Higuera put it be. And let's not forget we still have have the yearly budget to address in May. And lastely, weather the state pays 75%, who do you think pays the state. We do so l can point a finger at skewing the facts also. Think before you speak. YOU give money to the state and the state gives it to the schools. DAH!!!!!!
Janet January 31, 2014 at 07:35 PM
Oh and by the way Reddawn I am an accountant and I have learned the art of making red numbers black and black numbers red so for your info don't believe everything you are told.
Wlodek February 01, 2014 at 02:52 AM
Unlike in the past and unfortunately, the MPSD did not provide exact numbers about the tax impact on this bond proposal. Verbal statements by the administrators cannot be used as base for discussion about the bond. The question here is: If the MPSD knew the numbers why were they not officially included in the presentation?
Wlodek February 01, 2014 at 02:55 AM
One more comment here since the Patch does not allow paragraphs. The retiring debt must not be treated as a revolving line of credit. This bond will lock in high taxes for the next 15-20 years. It has too many wants in addition what is really needed.
Wlodek February 01, 2014 at 02:58 AM
Candace, which answers do you have in mind? There is not information about the tax rate impact of this bond.
Candace Lindemann February 01, 2014 at 08:44 AM
Wlodek: Some were asking why certain things weren't included and what might be covered by grants, etc. The presentation has some of that information. Those having a discussion would, I think, like access to all available information. I wasn't suggesting answers to every question are in there.
Donna February 01, 2014 at 09:44 AM
I see the importance of repairing the athletic fields and tracks. Athletics provides students with an outlet and opportunities for life lessons outside of the classroom. I also feel that music and the arts provide similar experiences for students and allow them to explore other areas of their lives and make them well rounded individuals. In addition to repairing fields, I would also like to see our auditorium updated. I understand at the board meeting, safety and security were an issue. Anyone who has recently attended a play or concert found that seating was limited. This led many people standing. This scenario can pose a safety hazard. Just as sports brings the community together a new and improved auditorium would do the same.
Reddawn1 February 01, 2014 at 03:13 PM
Donna, thank you for mentioning the arts. Like sports, the arts also enhance creativity outside the classroom. I agree at some point the auditorium has to be addressed. Janet, notice how I said if the board proposes the bond in the way stated, there would be a zero impact on residents. I believe (I could be wrong here) that the $70 or so dollars a year per household would be if the retiring debt was not used to pay the 2 million off.
Justin Time February 01, 2014 at 04:36 PM
Seems like most residents are more interested in outside status appearance than educating the little darlings. The budget is a joke
Janet February 02, 2014 at 07:41 AM
There was no clear answer to what the retiring debt would be used for. The only statement that was made was that the bond as is would be approx. $ 70-per household depending on your assessed value of your home. But everyone seems to be forgetting that we still have a budget to get through in May which will cost us additional monies. MPSD can never seem to not pierce the cap. And you are correct Justin Time the budget is a joke and so is the 2% cap. Also, there comes a time when parents have to realize that since many families in the MPSD can't afford these high taxes any more certain things have to be sacrificed. The unfortunate thing is everyone has different priorities. Of course music, art and sports make children well rounded but if the district(and by that I mean all taxpayers) can't afford to pay for them, and I am saying this as politely as I can, perhaps the parents, if they believe that strongly in those issues, should supply that for their own children, since they are their children, at their own expense. The bottom is if the bond goes thru as is the tax base will be established and even if there is retiring debt that can be used when have you ever seen the taxes go down in MPSD. They will find something else to spend that money on.
Wlodek February 03, 2014 at 05:57 AM
Candace: Thank you. This is how I understood your comment here. My comment had to do with lack of at least two pieces of information the community needed and still needs to know: what it the tax impact and why alternatives were not considered. Also, the cost of operating the lights $26/hr is not the whole cost. How about extra security needed for eve/night games. How about the cost of changing the lights themselves and maintenance of the infrastructure of the lights and lights themselves? Could we rent the lights for the few special games? If my memory is correct it was done once.
Ernestine Franco February 03, 2014 at 06:28 AM
Two points: (1) At the meeting I asked if the bond could have separate propositions for some of the items to allow residents to have a choice.T he Super explained that that is not possible. This is incorrect information as the bond that was floated in 2010 did just that. And that year some items passed and others did not. Giving out incorrect information is very poor behavior for an educator. (2) Empazing that the increase would be only $70/year also gives the wrong impression. There was a woman there whose school taxes are $16,000. They became that high a year at a time. I know for myself, in the 30 years I have lived here my taxes have gone up 500 percent, a few percent at a time!!!!!!
Candace Lindemann February 03, 2014 at 09:45 AM
Make sure you e-mail all questions to the board today.
Anton February 03, 2014 at 12:41 PM
This is how they do it...vague numbers, misleading flyers, throw in some other confusing numbers so you can't figure out what the real cost is. If anyone thinks the tax impact will be only $70/yr I have a bridge to sell you. They know exactly what this is going to cost, an how much your taxes will increase, but you won't see these numbers. The numbers will be presented in a way that makes the expense look like, "a cup of coffee a day" and will be confusing. Then they'll say that you're selfish and don't really need that cup of coffee every day, and you should give it up for lights and turf we don't need. "The cost of this is X, but we are saving on Y and Z so the real cost to you is only bla bla bla." The problem arises when the savings don't materialize...you vote yes on the spending and there's no going back, you're stuck with it. You will know the real cost only when you get your tax bill next year. They most certainly can propose more than one bond. This is typical...put something in the bond that you know everyone wants (security) along with other unnecessary stuff. I have kids in school, and I pay out of pocket for sports not offered in this district, now I have to pay for this? Another question....why do we have to purchase the solar panels? There are companies out there (i.e. Solar City) that lease the panels to you and charge you a reduced rate for the electric they produce AT NO COST TO YOU! Did anyone even research this? Basically you reduce your electric rate by ~25% and don't pay a dime for the installation. Sure, the payback isn't quite as lucrative as owning the panels, BUT WE WOULDN"T HAVE TO PAY $2.2 MILLION FOR IT!! Only thing is, your roof has to be good...which is the other question...what is the condition of the roof, and are we going to be hit with expenses to repair or replace the roof prior to installing these panels? If there are cost overruns, what happens? If the roof is in poor condition and you install panels, it becomes very expensive to perform roof repairs as the panels would have to be removed.
Wlodek February 03, 2014 at 12:48 PM
Candace: In the current situation asking questions is not going to work. If the BOE really wanted to receive and answer questions there would have been a better forum to do so. Scheduling a BOE vote less than a week since the administration presented what they thought was a developed proposal is not serious. Never mind that the presentation did not have enough detail for the community to comment in a meaningful way.
Candace Lindemann February 03, 2014 at 01:02 PM
Wlodek: There is an e-mail address for those unable to attend meetings -- I encourage all to submit input, concerns, and questions. Your opinions about the bond and the board's process are an entirely different issue. This is just a value-neutral statement that there is a way for people to submit questions and input to the board if they are unable to attend the meetings. While commenting here is certainly valid, it is an echo-chamber. If you want your remarks to be part of the official record or want to hear the board's answers to questions, then you need to speak up to them. If you do not like the answers, then you need to get new people to run for the board. Three people ran for three spots last election.
Wlodek February 03, 2014 at 01:08 PM
Candace: Thank you. You are right. Your comments here are of great value.
Thomas Lynch March 02, 2014 at 05:57 PM
I posted this on the MPRP Patch Facebook page, but it got buried in their timeline. There is no current article here either after the 27th BOE meeting and Wlodek's Beacon Article, so here is my post repeated here outside of Facebook: ================================ MPUFSD $7,500,000 BOND (or $2,300 per student or $535 for every man woman and child in the MPSD) ~~~~ All these updates on the weather - but I am hearing CRICKETS here in the Patch and social media? Seems even though astro turf was voted down before (2010) , and lots of people are against it (seems like all my neighbors and the 34 comments in another article a month ago!!), as well many studies say its sustainability, end replacement/disposal, and long term maintenance is MORE expense???? WHERE was this data? Same with the lights? (OpEx - operational expense and that is after a significant CapEx front end expense) additionally study after study has shown its bad and dangerous for the kids (and pro athletes ) - http://turf.uark.edu/turfhelp/archives/021109.html Contrary to history, past voting, and even other districts research, it seems this is STILL being somehow knitted into the BOEs plans - by WHO & WHY? We still have **** over 10% of the bond stuffed like a sausage with all this "pork"*** that is tied to obvious and mandatory security and repairs we probably must/should do? But the media is silent! (except in the Beacon and its pubs on the 27th but you have to subscribe or buy their stuff newsletters so nobody knows it) What happened to the Patch? Were is the social media discussion? I know there were cutbacks at the Patch and etc. but we got Oscar reports, weather, and potholes and drugs, how the gov is voting in AZ, .........why has there been no reporting or updates on the very important and local $$$$$$$$ item that affect 100% of MPSD taxpaying households? Most of us are working (if we are lucky enough to have a job in these still very hard times) trying to pay for all this and don't have the luxury to go hang out for all these painfully long meetings. (yes yes, I am a bad parent and could always come to a meeting and change the world - but look what comes out of these meetings?) We voted and expected the new board members to uphold our majority wishes as THEY have a fiduciary responsibility NOT to let this happen???? They pledged to be AUSTERE (when it comes to anything NOT tied directly to education or instruction) - after reading the preso, looking at the discussions, seeing Vlodek Guryn's article in the Times Beacon Record - there are still a lot of possibly purposefully unanswered questions. The first is WHY is turf and lighting BACK in the bond and now tied like an anchor to the rest of the repairs and security items? I am voting NO and emailing , advising, communicating to all friends/neighbors/taxpayers and supporting SANE (Sound Academics Neighborhood Economics) to make this message VERY clear to the BOE. Hopefully they can re-swizzle this after it fails, blow another $10 grand for a re-vote, and get this done in May. The current bond proposal is Lipstick on the Pig (pork) This family's votes are VOTING NO. If we don't have the representation and protection we thought we had - all we have left is our VOTE. "it's a NO for me" ==================================

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