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Yorktown Schools: 'Economic Distress' Blamed for New Usage Fees

The continuingly increasing costs of electricity, heat, upkeep and the accelerated depreciation of buildings and fields make it difficult for the district to continue to shoulder the bulk of the costs alone

  • Editor's Note: Below is a statement from the Yorktown Central School District in response to the new usage fees for local sports clubs and non-profit organizations:

Historically, the district has only collected fees from community-based organizations to cover overtime custodial support services, not for the use of the building and fields. The Town of Yorktown has helped the clubs absorb some of the overtime fees, which represent only a small portion of the entire cost of facilities use.

The continuingly increasing costs of electricity, heat, upkeep and the accelerated depreciation of our buildings and fields make it difficult for the district to continue to shoulder the bulk of the costs alone.

Although the district, like the town, will help to defray some of these costs, the expectation is that the proposed fee schedule will have the clubs shoulder some of the financial burden placed on the district for the use of our facilities and fields outside of the school day. Every additional dollar spent on non-educational items necessarily results in a corresponding reduction to education programs.

“In times of economic distress, such as we are experiencing now, including a 2% cap on the tax levy, a reduction in state aid, an increase in unfunded mandates and tax certioraris, we can no longer afford to cover the entire expense of the clubs use of our school property,” declared Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ralph Napolitano.

He added, “We have done our best to support local extracurricular organizations when using school property; however, the district supports more than 50 athletic teams and 75 clubs of our own. Within the confines of the State imposed 2% levy increase we no longer can continue without siphoning money from our instructional programs. We are asking the clubs for help to bear the costs of their use of our facilities and fields.”

Assistant Superintendent for Business Mr. Tom Cole stated, “We’re simply replicating the model of the Town of Yorktown by collecting more realistic user fees, and we have always partnered with the Town to support the Yorktown Athletic Club, Yorktown Youth Soccer Club and others. Custodial overtime cost coverage does not defray district expenses in any way. It simply provides overtime to the custodians for keeping the buildings opened. Our budget is designed to sustain education programs, and with the continuation of the 2.0% tax levy cap, every additional dollar spent on non-educational items hurts the district’s own programs.”

He added, “We will institute the fee schedule effective July 1, 2013.

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