My father fought through the propaganda machine of World War II. He said, "If you feel you are being shown only one path, be very wary of the guy giving you directions." After hearing multiple EI Associate presentations on building options we felt it was time to verify the information.
"We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. The passage speaks of the strength of faith and perseverance." As of the last meeting, E I Associates' terms were quite clear: "Pay me millions in fees for a $30M plus renovation or pay me millions in fees to build a $30M plus complex." It is, of course up to the districts to choose. Both choices were void of specifics and neither had hard numbers.
As it turned out, we didn't have to look far outside our district. Better options were just a call away. The impending 20 percent tax hike and decades of debt service were just a myth. The "Smart dollar plan" was defined and formed, with four basic steps:
Ÿ Present the plan to the board.
Ÿ Provide a presentation of the State Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract, debt service reduction and tax rebate plan.
Ÿ Request a board member to make a motion to authorize the team to collect the required GESC data and the data needed for creating a finalized Smart Dollar plan proposal.
Ÿ Request a board member to make a motion to authorize and disburse an immediate 2014 tax rebate to taxpayers of record equal to about (1 mil).
The team, in cooperation with the administration and the board will collect the data from the district. We expect these facility building tests and the data collection to take approximately four to six weeks.
Present the board with the final and specific Smart Dollar Plan.
Provide a state guarantee to the energy savings, a detailed report on the debt service reduction portion of the plan, and a detailed report on the improvement to technology and security.
Request a board member to make a motion to authorize and implement the Smart Dollar Plan.
Immediately implement the plan
1) Debt service reduction
2) Mark and Measure the existing state of the district buildings.
3) Coordinate with the administration the immediate building investments.
4) Coordinate with the board on the immediate rebate of the balance of savings.
5) Establish a taxpayer reporting system of the district building performance.
I am encouraging Lehighton taxpayers to attend the Lehighton School Board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Administrative building.