Support Sidney Schools’ Permanent Improvement levy Aug. 2

To the editor:

“Pay me now, or pay me later!” Those were the words of a familiar car maintenance commercial several decades ago. The point was that it would be less expensive to do regular maintenance than to wait until a major breakdown occurred. The same concept applies to maintaining the buildings in the Sidney City School District — think Bridgeview and its replacement, Sidney Middle School.

Most of our existing buildings are in the 50-65-year-old range. They have provided safe and sound educational environments for our children for those many years. However, those years have also brought wear and tear, as well as the demands of new technologies and security needs. Investing in regular maintenance as well as upgrades now could extend the functional life of these buildings for additional decades. A recent article in the Sidney Daily News outlined the known needs.

But this will cost money. For that reason our Board of Education is asking for a five-year Permanent Improvement levy. The proceeds from such a PI levy can be used only for such expenditures. The money cannot be used for day-to-day operations such as salaries and benefits, utilities, and supplies. For many years Sidney City Schools had such a PI levy, but it was allowed to expire during the recent financial crunch. We are now recovering well from the downturn, and I believe it is time to reinstate a Permanent Improvement fund.

While I don’t especially want to see my tax bill rise, I think it will be better to pay a little now than a lot later. For that reason, I encourage you to join me in supporting the Sidney City Schools’ Permanent Improvement levy on August 2.

Douglas Benson


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