Letters to the Editor

Students, staff safety at stake

To the Editor:

Dear Parents and Voters,

On March 20, voters in Sandwich Community Unit School District 430 have an important issue to decide. A yes vote to pass the Debt Service Extension Base resolution on the ballot will allow District 430 to take immediate action to fix hundreds of life safety items in the six schools of the district. These life safety items were cited by a state-mandated 10-year survey. They must be done.

Surely no one will say that this work is not needed. Things like a new, safer boiler at Woodbury, fire ratings and panic hardware on doors, asbestos removal, and upgraded wiring and alarms are must do’s for our buildings. Our students and staff safety is at stake.

The school district runs on a tight budget and offers programs and service our students deserve and need. The operational budget pays for ongoing expenses like salaries, supplies, etc., and is separate from this proposed DSEB referendum. For capital improvements and major maintenance such as these mandated life safety projects, the district must borrow money in the form of bonds. That borrowing capacity is what is being asked on this ballot. It is much like our personal finance. For big purchases, we often have to borrow the money.

But with school finance, voters need to approve the borrowing capacity and in turn pay for it over time with real estate taxes. The good news – there is one thing on our side. In 2018, the bonds / loan for Sandwich Middle School will be paid off. That will lower bond and interest real estate taxes regardless (tax rate comparisons are located on the district’s web page). Because the loan for the middle school was much more than what is needed for the life safety items now, bond and interest tax rates will still go down if this referendum passes. So let’s get it done now and take advantage of this timing.

Your yes vote will make that happen. Please be sure to vote. Thank you for supporting Sandwich Schools!

Dale Hamilton

Amy Campbell

DSEB committee co-chairs

Sandwich

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