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Vote on Chatham schools capital improvement project in February; proposals would increase taxes

Jan 02, 2023 1:00 am

The Columbia Paper is reporting the Chatham Board of Education December 13, adopted a proposed capital improvement project "to improve its educational facilities and address issues with aging infrastructure." The project proposed is eligible for 49.6 percent state aid, which reduces its impact on local property taxes. For every dollar the district spends it would receive approximately 50 cents in state building aid. “This project represents an important moment for Chatham. Along with keeping our buildings operating safely and efficiently, it is an opportunity to make our facilities future ready and advance our instructional programs,” said Chatham Superintendent Sal DeAngelo. The project includes two propositions that will be decided by voters on Tue., Feb. 14. Proposition 1 seeks voters' approval of an $18.22 million plan to shore up aging infrastructure, improve classroom and community spaces, and address safety, security, and health concerns at all three school buildings and the district bus garage. Officials would apply $8.43 million from the capital reserve fund and issue bonds to fund the remainder, resulting in a property tax increase. Owners of a home valued at $300,000 would see their property taxes increase by $23.37. Proposition #1 is a stand-alone project. Proposition #2 will ask voters to permit the spending of $3.9 million proposal to install air conditioning at Mary E. Dardess Elementary School. Bonds would be issued for the portion of the project thereby requiring a separate, additional tax increase for property owners. For a home valued at $300,000, that tax increase would be $28.08. Proposition 2 is dependent on Proposition 1 and would only pass if voters okay both propositions. Read more in The Columbia Paper.

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