Yorktown Schools: Tough Economy Behind New Usage Fees

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Yorktown will institute a new fee schedule for community-based organizations to help ease financial burdens. Photo Credit: File

YORKTOWN, N.Y. - New usage fees for community-based organizations will go into effect July 1 to help ease the burden of increasing budget restrictions, the Yorktown Central School District said in statement late Friday night.

The fee would charge nonprofit organizations and athletic clubs each time district facilities are used outside of the school day. Historically, the district only has collected fees from these organizations to cover overtime for custodial staff, not for the use of the building and fields. 

District officials said increasing costs of electricity, heat, upkeep and the accelerated depreciation of its buildings and fields make it difficult for the district to continue to shoulder the bulk of the costs alone. The proposed fee schedule will shift some of that burden onto the clubs, said Superintendent Ralph Napolitano.

“In times of economic distress, such as we are experiencing now, including a two percent 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,” Napolitano said. “We have done our best to support local extracurricular organizations when using school property; however, the district supports more than fifty athletic teams and seventy-five clubs of our own. Within the confines of the state-imposed two percent 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 Tom Cole said, “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 percent tax levy cap, every additional dollar spent on non-educational items hurts the district’s own programs.”

The district made no mention of a law it previously cited as the reason for the new fee schedule.

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