The estimated rate per $1,000 assessed value to be collected for a proposed bond issue in Entiat, and the estimated rate being collected now, was incorrect in an original version of this story. The errors have been corrected.
NCW — Voters in four Chelan County school districts will soon decide on funding proposals ranging from construction projects to classroom programs.
Ballots must be dropped off or postmarked by the Feb. 12 special election.
Those measures include a 20-year bond issue for the Entiat School District, capital improvement levies for Lake Chelan and Manson schools, and replacement maintenance and operations levies for Cascade and Manson schools.
Entiat’s bond request will need 60 percent of voters to approve it in order to pass, while the capital improvement and maintenance levies need 50 percent to pass.
Here’s what’s being requested.
Entiat School District: A $7.952 million bond to modernize and add onto the Paul Rumburg Elementary School would be paid back over 20 years. A levy of $2.57 per $1,000 assessed value would replace the current bond, to be repaid this year, which levies $1.18 per $1,000 assessed value.
If approved, the district will get nearly $2.78 million in matching funds from the state.
Superintendent Mike Wyant said the school hasn’t had substantial improvements in more than 30 years. Funds would move a cafeteria, kitchen and two classrooms out of the basement, which could then be used for community meeting rooms.
Developed by a school facilities committee, the measure would improve safety by creating a single entrance and changing the loading area outside the school. It would eliminate the need for aging portable buildings, moving those special education classes into the main building. Four classrooms would be added to the north end of the building. Funds would also upgrade plumbing, windows, insulation, electrical, air conditioning and technology systems.
Wyant said a $150,000 home, which is about average for Entiat, would pay an additional $210 in taxes next year, and beyond.
Manson School District: Manson voters will be asked to replace an existing maintenance and operations levy, and to replace a bond issue that will retire this year with a new capital improvements levy.
Superintendent Matt Charlton said with a modest increase in the maintenance levy and a decrease in levy rates to pay for capital improvements, the district expects property owners will see no change in their taxes.
The maintenance levy would collect just over $1.14 million or an estimated $1.97 per $1,000 assessed value in 2014, and $1.174 million or an estimated $2.03 per $1,000 assessed value in 2015. It would help maintain schools, fund technology, pay for instructional needs, extra-curricular programs, and supplement the food service and transportation programs.
Charlton said the district chose to replace its retiring bond with a capital projects levy because no funds would be used to pay interest, and projects can be completed over time.
That levy would collect $595,000 per year for the six years, at an estimated $1.03 per $1,000 assessed value. It replaces a bond issue that collected $1.08 per $1,000 assessed value.
It would replace leaking pipes and repair or replace the roof at the high school, reconfigure a shop, art and music wing, address safety issues at the elementary and high schools, purchase technology, replace flooring in the elementary, middle and high schools, and upgrade athletic fields.
Lake Chelan School District: A capital projects and technology levy would collect about 75 cents per $1,000 assessed value for five years, from 2014 through 2018, and would replace an existing bond which will retire this year. If passed, property owners will pay less than the current rate of 79 cents per $1,000 assessed value.
Superintendent Rob Manahan said the levy focuses on five areas: safety and security, growth, program and innovation needs, technology and maintenance.
Funds would replace hardware on doors at the middle and high schools, install security cameras at all buildings, control access, and eliminate crossing issues at the elementary school. Part of that money will also reconfigure the offices at all three schools to ensure visitors check in with the office.
Funds will also be used to expand the high school cafeteria and hallways, and a multi-purpose room at the elementary school, along with a career and technical education building at the high school. It would reconfigure the music room and at both the high school and middle school, and purchase curriculum for math, science and technology.
Technology funds will provide software and hardware upgrades, while maintenance replacement and upgrades will address heating and cooling systems, and roofing issues, along with upgrades at athletic facilities and playgrounds. Manahan said Chelan property owners pay the second-lowest tax rate for schools in the county, with Cascade School District paying the lowest.
Cascade School District: A four-year maintenance and operations levy to be collected from 2014 through 2017 would replace the current levy.
Superintendent Steve McKenna said homeowners now pay an estimated $1.21 per $1,000 assessed value. That would go up to about $1.48 per $1,000 in 2014 to collect over $3.03 million; and adjust yearly through 2017, when a total of $3.12 million, or an estimated $1.43 per $1,000 assessed value, would be collected.
McKenna said with assessed valued in the Leavenworth area pretty high, the district has a fairly low levy rate, allowing it to accomplish quite a few goals with a modest increase.
The extra funds would fund a student safety officer, sustain a capital technology levy that previously passed, reinstate an after school enrichment program, provide training for staff and purchase curriculum and equipment.