Bite being taken out of East Norwalk Avalon’s tax contribution

Norwalk’s contract with First Student will end with 2014-2015, Board of Education Chief Financial Officer Rich Rudl said last week. The contract will go out to bid.

NORWALK, Conn. – A new East Norwalk development is likely to cost the Board of Education $85,000 for a new bus route, Superintendent Manny Rivera said.

The East Norwalk Avalon has added 17 students to Marvin Elementary School, Rivera said at last week’s combined Board of Education/Common Council finance committees meeting. That was part of a discussion of an expected increase in BOE transportation costs in the 2014-2015 operating budget.

The leasing of Avalon’s 240 apartments began in May 2013. The city’s website shows that East Norwalk Avalon paid $116,404 in real estate taxes on Jan. 27. It paid the same amount in 2013.

BOE Chief Financial Officer Rich Rudl said the bus would cost $85,000. “But a lot of the buses that we have are pretty jam packed,” he said.

“Marvin has seen an increase of 23 students since the beginning of the school year,” BOE Communications Director Brenda Williams said in a Monday email. “However, not all those students are necessarily from Avalon, as we do have students that move into and out of schools throughout the year.  Marvin would be the assigned elementary school for the East Norwalk Avalon community, although students in Marvin could also potentially enroll in our magnet schools like Columbus or Jefferson, or other schools such as All Saints.”

At last week’s meeting, Councilman Jerry Petrini (R-District D) asked Rivera if the students might go to Naramake Elementary School, which is closer.

Rivera said he wants to do a facility utilization study to look into that and other issues. “It would potentially mean redistricting,” he said.

Rudl said other increased transportation costs include a need for five additional vans for out-of-district special education students.

Rivera said the out-of-district transportation costs are “killing us.” He said he hopes to one day keep those students in district by creating a home for the services they need here, but the start-up costs are prohibitive at present.


6 responses to “Bite being taken out of East Norwalk Avalon’s tax contribution”

  1. Oldtimer

    A new bus route is probably not the only expense this will cost the City. If all the expenses are accurately calculated, the City is probably losing money, the same way it loses on most homes with school age children.

  2. the donut hole

    What is more ridiculous? Sending these kids to Marvin when Naramake is right around the corner? Or the fact that per unit taxes are only $500? How can that be?

  3. Bill

    How can the annual taxes be only $485 per unit? Nancy Chapman, we need you to explain how Avalon is able to charge $21,420 per single bedroom annually, yet the annual taxes are only $485 per unit.

  4. Oldtimer

    They must have the benefit of a different assessor than the one who worked in my neighborhood.

  5. Joanne Romano

    I agree that a change of district should be looked into and possibly a re-val on the cost per unit taxes, how can everyone else pay for the burden of taxes and not be upset about these figures? Also, is it true that only 23 students come out of Avalon? Are there no students older than elementary age? If so, that means that buses will be transporting students to Nathan Hale and Norwalk High so why should it cause a problem to add one more trip to that route? I have been opposed to this development from the start as I don’t believe all of the figures are correct. The traffic studies are not conducive to the traffic seen in East Norwalk, were they not done in July when there is no need for school buses? Were new traffic studies done that show real time traffic? how many of these units are occupied and how congested will the area be once they are full? You obviously have to take into consideration that if there are teens and young adults in these units you are most likely talking about 2.5 drivers per unit therefore increasing the number of cars on the roads during commuter time as the schools open at an early hour and those heading to work are combining with this congestion unless of course teens and young adults are not allowed to live in these units which is crazy in itself…I just don’t understand how bus routes cannot be combined to accommodate these children and not putting the burden on just one school. Of course some of the children can/will go to other schools such as All Saints and that depends on if a parent can afford to send them. But I don’t see 23 students costing another $80k for a whole new bus route when one is already in place.

  6. longtime resident

    All I know is my two bedroom condo across town, comparable in size but 25 years older than the brand spanking new Avalon, Will be costing me $6,000 annually. Tell me how that makes sense?

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