To the Times of Ti:
I feel compelled as a tax payer in the Ticonderoga School District to write this letter in support of the construction bond project being proposed by the district.
Although I am not a native of Ticonderoga, in 1988 I moved from my childhood home of Potsdam and took a position at Ticonderogas International Paper mill. My wife and I have lived in Ticonderoga for the past 19 years and have raised three children in this community.
When we relocated, the quality of the education in Ticonderoga was one of the main reasons why we chose to live in Ticonderoga. At that time, the school district had an excellent reputation and still does.
However, during the past year I had the unique opportunity to be part of the Facilities Committee and tour the schools to review their current condition. The safety and security issues identified by the committee are real. The need for additional repairs and upgrades are also real. For us to ensure that the quality of education in Ticonderoga continues to attract new families to our community, we can not ignore the current conditions of our school buildings and classroom conditions. We also can not ignore the security and safety issues in our school buildings.
As a home owner, I appreciate the information shared by the district about the tax burden that I will have to share. The information released regarding an assessment of a $100,000 home with a star exemption having to shoulder a burden of $72 a year ($6 a month) was very useful.
Like all property taxpayers, I do not like to see my taxes increase. However, we must do the right thing by investing in our communitys school system to ensure that the quality of education is maintained for our children. The alternative is to do nothing and let the condition of our school buildings continue to decline, lowering the quality of education.
To prevent this from happening, I am prepared to spend a little more each month to provide up-to-date and secure facilities for our children.
John F. Lenhart