Letter: Now is time to renew SPHS
If you want to keep your taxes low now is the time to finance the renewal of the South Portland High School. Inflation was 1.1 percent over the last 12 months ending in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. In January 2006 the Consumer Price Index was 4 percent. The city could be adding a compounded cost of at least 9 percent to 12 percent for a three-year delay, which would be more than $5 million added to the existing cost. People in the trades would tell you construction costs will rise more than 3 percent to 4 percent a year. The bond rates will rise, at least doubling from 3 percent now to 6 percent in several years. The total cost will balloon over the life of a higher-rate bond to tens of millions in extra cost paid to Wall Street.
In 2006-2007, with a higher school budget, the city was running a net surplus of $2.8 million to $3.1 million. The city has liquid funds of more than $52 million. There has been commercial leasing development in 2009-2010; we have a bright future, if we protect it.
The AAA bond rating that we currently hold will go away with a failing school system. The opposition questions scope, but does not dispute the need to be accredited.
As a financial professional I urge you to vote yes, taking advantage of historic low costs, because the true waste will be paying many millions more for the inevitable.