Concord School chaos

To the Editor:

As announced in the October 17 issue of the Caledonian-Record, the school board of Concord has set a November 12th date for a vote on a $6.3 million school construction bond issue. As of this date (Oct. 24) there has been no public discussion of: 1. The length of time, 20 or 30 years, over which the bond will be repaid. 2. The interest rate that the town will be charged. 3. Who will have to bear the tax burden of repayment: the residents or both residents and non-residents?

Depending on the answers to these questions the total amount that the residents of Concord will have to repay would be from $9,500,000 to $10,000,000 which means an increase in the town's annual budget of at least $325,000. As a result, the additional charge per $100 of the grand list property valuation might be anything from about 30 cents to 95 cents, thus at least a 15% increase and possibly a 50% increase in property tax (based on the numbers given on page 54 of the 2012 town report). And this additional burden will be loaded onto the taxpayers for at least one generation!

All that the town will get from this will be a new gym (with showers and toilets) and a cafeteria tacked onto the back of the existing school building. Not, as the C-R article mentioned, any new roof, or new classrooms, or a new science lab, or new performance space. So Concord residents can confidently expect that within the 20 or 30 years while they are still repaying this bond, they'll be called upon to pay for still another construction bond for the old school building.

Why was a vote on such an important matter scheduled so soon when the most basic information was not yet available? Wouldn't it have made more sense if it were scheduled for the regular Spring town meeting when there would be plenty of time to discuss and iron out details? After all, the school board has a considerable chunk of reserve cash available which could be used to help repair the lack of toilets and showers in the existing gym.

David Isles

Concord, Vt.

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