Re-2 school district will ask voters for more funds |

Re-2 school district will ask voters for more funds

RIFLE – On Nov. 7, Garfield School District Re-2 will ask voters to approve a mill levy override and bond issues for school renovations, construction and increasing operating costs.The school district points to the need of continual additions to area schools, due to ever-increasing growth, and some much-needed upgrades, repairs and replacement to existing facilities as reasons it’s asking voters to approve the ballot issues.The school board unanimously passed the resolution for a $74.9 million bond and a $1.6 million tax increase, mill levy override, in a special meeting Tuesday night.”We are officially in a bond-issue campaign,” declared Jay Rickstrew, Re-2 school board president, after the school board passed the resolution.If approved, the $74.9 million will fund future projects including a new elementary school in Rifle, a new school building in Silt to replace Roy Moore Elementary, and a new middle school in New Castle.Other major renovations are planned for Rifle High School, Riverside School, classroom additions at Coal Ridge High School and Rifle Middle School, mechanical upgrades to Wamsley elementary, and furnishings and equipment for the above facilities as well as improvements to the district’s existing transportation facility.”The reason for this bond issue is all about safety, classroom capacity, and classroom size,” according to Theresa Hamilton, director of districtwide services for Re-2. “We are a growing school district and we have serious issues that need to be addressed.”The mill levy override asks for an increase of taxes within the school district to be deposited directly into the district’s general fund, which is responsible for continual district expenses.The $1.6 million tax increase would increase the district’s annual budget from $8.3 million to approximately $9.9 million. The increase is needed for hiring additional teachers as well as retention of quality teachers. Funds will also be used to pay back the bonds used for construction and renovations, as well as increasing gas and utility costs throughout the district. The next step will include forming a bond and mill levy committee, made up of volunteer community members, to run the campaign and educate the public about the issues and their importance.The November ballots will be mailed to people who live within the Re-2 school district. The two issues are separate and one can pass without the other.School board members have been working on these ballot issues since October of 2005.Contact John Gardner: 945-8515, ext.

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