Issue Two Amherst – Mr. Sayers answers

May 1, 2011 at 10:15 pm Leave a comment

ED NOTE:I received the answers to LATA questions Issue Two- Is this for you?
this evening they are as follows:

1. What will the recreation center membership costs be? Why are they not listed?In district costs? Out of district costs?

Membership prices will be about the same as the Oberlin Splash Zone membership prices. You can see the Splash Zone Website for details. Memberships for a family of four are $50 per month. Residents living within the Amherst School District will receive 50% of membership prices. Therefore; membership for a family of four living in the Amherst District will be about $25 a month.

2.Governor Kasich’s budget shows Amherst School District will receive $1 million less from the state for two years or $2 million for the two-year budget. What does this mean to the district? Another levy?

This combination levy (operating and facilities) was designed to help offset the State budget cuts.

3. How many renewal levies are expiring over the next two years and will need to be renewed?

If Issue 2 passes we will need to pass two renewal levies during the next two years. If Issue 2 does NOT pass we will have to ask for additional levies to operate and maintain the six buildings we currently have.

4.Will the Federal or State Governments increase payroll or sales taxes without a vote within the next year?

This is a question out of the school district’s control, but everything we are hearing out of Columbus would indicate that this will not be happening anytime in the near future.

5. Why are there no schools located in Lorain or Amherst Township? Combined, over one-half of the registered voters in the Amherst School District (ASD) live in Lorain and Amherst Township.

In building the new school the idea was to use currently owned property that is already developed with utilities. In evaluating our options the Harris site was the most cost-effective site. The district does not own property in Lorain City.

6. When the last levy was passed, didn’t the schools budget for the repairs needed for the existing schools? Wasn’t that levy for operations?Two years later ASD now needs more money for repairs?

The levy in November 2008 was for the day-to-day operations for the district, not maintenance or facilities. Funds to do building repairs come from a separate Permanent Improvement Fund which has not been increased in well over 10 years.

7.This levy represents a 15% increase. Can businesses/property owners absorb a 15% increase?

I am not sure where the 15% increase is coming from and I am not sure if this number is accurate. Although there is an upfront increase, Issue 2 will ease the tax burden over time because of the savings from going from three elementary buildings to one ($500,000 per year). It will also provide us with a community asset (the recreation center) that will boost property values over time and is a facility that all residents can benefit from, if they choose.
This Issue has been endorsed by Amherst City Council, Amherst Township Trustees, The Amherst News-Times, The Morning-Journal, The Chronicle-Telegram, the CEO of the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce, and many other community residents and business owners.

8. S and P threatens to downgrade U.S. debt. What is the possible effect locally?

Not sure what the local impact would be.

9. Why full-day kindergarten? The State voted not to implement full-day kindergarten. Pre school function? Only $26/ month for $150,000 home and no child care costs?? I am in favor of issue 2.

There are proven academic advantages to all-day, everyday kindergarten. The Amherst School’s Preschool Program is necessary to meet State criteria for children with special needs who are three-to-five years-old and live in the Amherst School District. All research emphasizes that high quality preschool programs are very important to student achievement.
There are many families who see the academic advantages of all-day, everyday kindergarten and who would welcome the relief in half-day childcare arrangements.

10.How many existing day care and health clubs will go out of business if Issue 2 passes? Can you name these businesses?

There will still be a need for childcare for children of all ages. Birth to three and before school and after school care, as well as days where there is no school in session.
As far as health clubs, there is a growing demand for more and more health and wellness centers. The proposed recreation center will offer competitive membership prices and will draw Amherst residents back from Oberlin Splash Zone and Avon.

11.Federal Government is broke; State Government is broke; County Government is broke; Local governments are broke; And Amherst School District wants to expand using a 37 year bond?

Issue 2 is a proactive way to get ahead of the financial curve. Yes, there is a cost now, but over time; it will be cheaper to run four buildings than our existing six. The 37 year bond issue was used to spread the payments out over time so more people contribute to the costs. Shorter bond times (example 28 years) would have resorted in higher taxes per month now.

A comment:

(LATA)In this economy, I say we should keep what we have and wait for the economy to improve before making this large of a move.
We have no control over the availability of the State Money. Right now they are offering to pay half the cost of the new elementary school. Additionally, with the current economy, it will NEVER be cheaper to build a building than it will be right now.

12. Is your family expanding and taking on more debt? My family is not.
The cost of Issue 2 will be about $25 a month for the average home of $150,000 home

This investment NOW will save taxpayers money in the future. The estimated savings from going from three elementary schools down to one will be $500,000 a year. Over a 10 year time period this will save the taxpayers the equivalent of an 8.6 mill levy.

13. Did Metro Parks look at the Soccer Academy as an alternative? It is the Amherst School District.

There were many different sites considered by the Metro Parks. After cost analysis of all sites the Metro Parks and the Amherst Board of Education felt that the Powers site was the best.
The Soccer Academy was not a viable option. Dan Martin at the Lorain County Metro Parks will be happy to give you additional details at 458-5121.

and another (LATA) comment

In this economy with rising gasoline/energy costs and reduced discretionary income, the rec center will not benefit downtown Amherst.

The Metro Parks has estimated that the recreation center will be used all-day, every-day by many people. The numbers of people visiting the recreation center will naturally cause people to stop and do business with the merchants in downtown Amherst. The memberships at Oberlin Splash Zone and the Avon YMCA are increasing and over capacity. The Amherst Recreation Center would help bring those discretionary dollars back to the Amherst Community.


Entry filed under: education, Link -ups, Open for Discussion, opinion. Tags: .

Issue Two- Amherst- “Good to Great”? WE are Already EXCELLENT! Boxes- little boxes- outside the box!

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