Re-2 district’s money handling praised
RIFLE – A volunteer committee of eight community members in Garfield County concluded, after several months of evaluation, that the Garfield County School District Re-2 met all of its obligations with regard to the 2001 bond and the 2004 mill levy override.The $39 million bond for construction costs and the $2.7 million mill levy override for reoccurring cost within the district was a “responsible use of taxpayer’s money,” according to the committee’s letter to the school board on Aug. 17. “Despite financial pressures and constraints of TABOR … Re-2 still met or exceeded the expectations of the bond and mill levy override,” the committee stated in the letter.”That’s a pretty strong statement,” said Rick Aluise, co-chair of the Bond Oversight committee, at an Aug. 22 school board meeting.The Bond was responsible for the construction of two new schools within the district, Coal Ridge High School in New Castle and Highland Elementary in Rifle. The cost of Coal Ridge was calculated at $108 per square foot and, according to the committee’s letter, was “one of the most cost effective and responsible uses of taxpayer’s money.”Funds were also dispersed to other district schools for renovations of Rifle Middle School, and new modular classrooms for Wamsley and Kathryn Senor elementary.The committee found some of the projects were over budget, but money was re-routed from the multiple other jobs – within the district – that were under budget.The committee praised the school board in the letter for working “diligently to meet the timeline of expectations,” and were of the opinion that the district was a “very good steward of the taxpayer’s money.” The committee also regarded the construction of Coal Ridge as a “Template for future new construction projects.”Contact John Gardner: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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