Wilson should reconsider his arts center project


At a recent Wilson School Board meeting, the administration pointed out that it had borrowed $ 45 million before the potential construction of the performing arts center project.

The administration noted that extending the current $ 11 million debt repayment amount from six to 12 years would be enough to cover the $ 45 million without an increase in the school tax.

This “mileage increase myth” ignores that the $ 45 million is on top of changes in other operating and capital spending that the district will need. Here are some things not taken into account that could trigger an increase in mileage:

1. During the 12 year payback period, there will certainly be increases in other costs such as employee salaries, underfunded teachers’ pension plan, and major repairs to facilities.

2. There is overcrowding in our elementary schools which is expected to worsen and move up to secondary level. A new elementary school could be the next project leading to an increase in school property taxes

A $ 45 million performing arts center, including related upgrades, isn’t free. I urge Wilson residents to attend the January 18th school board meeting.

Tony Di Girolamo
Canton of Lower Heidelberg

William E. Bennett