Is the time right for another Re-2 bond issue? |

Is the time right for another Re-2 bond issue?

Is it time for the Garfield County School district Re-2 to ask the voters to support another bond issue?That’s a very important question and one that must be answered very soon.The school district recently released a $233 million wish list for future projects. A committee then slashed that total to $131 million.The facilities needs committee, made up of more than 50 teachers, parents and community members, are doing the preliminary work that could lead to the request of a bond issue on the 2006 ballot.Western Garfield County is growing and with the natural gas industry going strong, the population will continue to grow. The school district is anticipating 3 percent to 5 percent growth every year for the next few years.There are a number of factors that the school district can point to that legitimize a bond issue request. An aging Silt elementary school that needs to be addressed and the possibility of building a vocational outlet for students are a couple of those factors. Many needs, yes, but is now the time?The district had a $39 million bond issue passed in 2001. That money was used to build Highland Elementary School and Coal Ridge High School, and to upgrade Rifle Middle School.That was followed by two mill levy requests – one that passed and one that failed.The school district is obviously very proactive in looking at how to improve things for the students of New Castle, Silt and Rifle.But is it already time for another bond issue?The school district is going to have to show a profound need for many of these requests even before putting a request on the ballot. Prospective voters should take an analytical look at these requests long before November. And the school district should be sure that this is the right time to take another bond issue to the voters of the district.November is still 10 months away, but now is the time for people to do their homework and for the school district to ask the question – is the time right for another bond issue?

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