Time is right for Re-2 bond, mill levy
Schools are like people – they grow older and wear out.People can’t be replaced, but school buildings can.For the Garfield School District Re-2, it’s time to once again ask the voters for help.If passed, the $74.9 million bond (ballot issue 3B) and the $1.6 million mill levy increase (ballot issue 3A) will help pay for needed upgrades to facilities and money for additional staff. More than $13 million of the money would go toward replacing Silt’s Roy Moore Elementary School.The 34-year-old building has structural problems, and the district has poured maintenance and repair money into the facility over the past seven years.The bottom line is Roy Moore must be replaced.For taxpayers, there will never be a better time to approve a bond issue and mill levy increase. With the oil and gas industry paying the largest portion of property taxes in the school district, there will be virtually no burden on residential property owners.The school district will face some major growing pains in the future. Projections estimate the school district will grow to 16,000 students by 2030. There are currently around 4,400 students in the district. The school district is trying to stay ahead of the curve and won a bond issue approval in 2001. A bond oversight committee praised the school district for its sound decisions in how it spent the money from the 2001 bond issue. There’s no reason to think that Re-2 won’t again be responsible stewards with this money if voters pass the ballot measures.The school district can’t help but look at the future and the major challenges that will come with tremendous growth; however, today is the time to start preparing for the future. The bond issue will go toward the construction costs for facility upgrades and replacing Roy Moore. The mill levy increase will help pay salaries for more teachers, other essential personnel, as well as the increasing utility costs being felt throughout the district.The current situation and projected growth facing the Re-2 school district makes it clear that both the bond issue and mill levy increase are needed. First and foremost, Roy Moore Elementary needs to be replaced. Property has been secured and plans are in place for an early 2007 groundbreaking on a new Silt school if the bond passes. The future will be a challenge for the Re-2 school district, and the future begins now.Vote “yes” on ballot issues 3A and 3B.
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