Letter: Clarksburg school plan is right for town, students
My observations since moving to Clarksburg are that people in this small town have a strong sense of community and family. People move to Clarksburg specifically because of the quality school system, and parents in our neighboring communities often decide to send their kids to Clarksburg School for the same reason. Properties in Clarksburg are highly sought after and have retained their value over time.
Many people are concerned about the upcoming school project vote and some feel that this project will result in an unbearable burden or will bankrupt the town. However, I feel many people are misinformed regarding the expenses that the town will have to undertake to maintain the existing school and/or the cost of closing the school and sending our children to another school district.
Here are the facts: The proposed school project will cost the town $7.7 million with the state investing $11.3 million. This proposed plan would increase our tax rate by $3.25 per $1,000. Without the school project, it is estimated that the minimal updates and maintenance costs would be about $4 million with no assistance from the state. This backup plan would still increase our tax rate to $2.75 per $1,000.
Therefore, we either pay $4 million for minimal repairs or $7.7 million to get a brand new school valued at $19 million. Paying $7.7 million for a $19 million school sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
I understand that $7.7 million sounds like a lot of money. However, let's break this down into smaller numbers that are easier to understand. The average assessed value of homes in Clarksburg is $155,000. Given the proposed increase of $3.25 per $1,000, the average Clarksburg household will see an increase of $503.75 per year in property taxes. That works out to $41.98 per month or $1.38 per day. How many of us spend $40 per month or $2 per day on non-essentials that we could live without? Can we not make a small sacrifice to ensure a safe environment and quality education for generations of Clarksburg students?
I personally feel a responsibility to do the right thing for the children of our community and will therefore be voting "yes" for the Clarksburg school project on Saturday, Nov. 18.
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