Re-2 mill levy heading to the ballot |

Re-2 mill levy heading to the ballot

Carrie Click
Post Independent Staff

RIFLE – Garfield School District Re-2 board of education members on Wednesday unanimously approved the wording for the mill levy override question that will appear on the ballot for the Nov. 4 election.

“Now it’s official,” said Theresa Hamilton, director of Re-2 districtwide services. “The board made an official action to put the question on the ballot.”

If approved in November, the proposed mill levy override will provide $4 million annually to Garfield Re-2.

The money will fund staffing for the new Coal Ridge High School in Peach Valley, competitive salaries for all staff, full-day every-day kindergarten, before- and after-school programs, school resource officers, technology upgrades and transportation upgrades.

“Our No. 1 priority with this mill levy override is to improve student performance for all students within Garfield Re-2,” Hamilton said. “The override will help us reach our three goals: the highest achieving students, the highest trained staff and the highest paid staff on the Western Slope.”

Re-2 superintendent Gary Pack said new information he received from Garfield County Treasurer Georgia Chamberlain indicates that, for a residential home worth $100,000, the mill levy would add $34 as opposed to $100, as previously believed.

“This is very good news for both the district and the taxpayers,” Pack said.

Commercial property owners take on more of the tax burden and incur more of the costs, since their rates are close to three times the amount of that taxed to a residential home.

Hamilton said, at this point, the question has little to do with increased property taxes but is more about what is best for Re-2’s kids.

“It’s not even a tax issue,” she said. “It’s about what’s best for the kids in the district.”

The new Coal Ridge High School is clearly a positive step for the district’s upcoming high school students.

Hamilton reported that the bidding process for the construction of the Peach Valley-based school started Thursday. So far, she did not know which companies where bidding on the project.

In the meantime, infrastructure work is beginning. Just east of Silt to the south of Interstate 70, workers are laying water and sewer lines to the new school. And at the 40-acre site, earth moving equipment is up and running.

“They’re doing what’s called surcharging,” Hamilton said. “They’re compressing the ground and making the site as stable as possible before laying the foundation.”

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

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