Education

Yorktown Schools Seek to Create Capital Reserve Fund

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Yorktown Central School District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Napolitano.
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YORKTOWN, N.Y. – The Yorktown Central School District will ask voters in May to authorize the creation of a capital projects reserve fund, allowing the district to set aside money for repairs and renovations to its facilities.

The alternative, said Superintendent Dr. Ralph Napolitano, is for the school district to bond these projects, as it did 10 years ago. The district is nearing the end of its last major capital projects bond and has already paid about $6 million in interest to complete the work, Napolitano said.

“Think of all the extra work we could have done by creating a capital project fund,” Napolitano said at the Dec. 5 school board meeting. “We won’t have to borrow. It would be our money and we would just use it prudently to take care of the things that are most urgent to take care of.”

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Napolitano said a committee has been meeting on a regular basis to discuss the creation of this fund. The committee has yet to determine the cap and length of the fund.

Both the creation of the fund as well as any use of the funds would require voter approval, said Tom Cole, assistant superintendent for business.

While the reserve fund would be filled with taxpayer money, the district would not raise taxes to accomplish this goal, Napolitano said. For example, if expenditures came in under budget, that surplus money could be transferred into the capital reserve fund.

“We’re not asking for money,” Napolitano said. “We’re asking [the voters] to create a fund and we would start to put money aside.”

Doing so, Napolitano said, would help the district avoid a “repeat” of 11 years ago, when the district bonded many projects at once. Instead, he said, the district could perform repairs as they arise.

Napolitano said this will be discussed in more detail at future board meetings.

In the meantime, the district still has nearly $225,000 in bond money left to spend, as well as a $49,000 emergency appropriations the district received. Cole said the district is performing an audit of its buildings, but said site lighting is a priority.

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