If voters approve levy, state will chip in extra $700k a year

 

Last updated 2/2/2022 at 4:34pm

Local voters are casting their ballots on two school district levies that would replace three levies expiring at the end of this year, with passage of the educational levy coming with a bonus of $700,000 in "assistance funds" from the state annually for the four-year duration of that levy. 

On Feb. 8, election day, ballots will be counted for the two levies in the Grand Coulee Dam School District. 

If passed, the two levies will bring in an estimated $1.4 to $1.7 million to the school district between 2023 and 2026, not counting the additional annual $700,000 state assistance dollars.

The levies would replace the levies that are expiring at the end of 2022.

The Educational Programs and Operations Levy seeks to collect $896,000 in 2023, $963,000 in 2024, $1,011,000 in 2025, and $1,041,000 in 2026 at a rate of $2.50 per thousand dollars of assessed property value.

That levy can help pay for costs associated with various athletics and clubs, technology, drivers ed, school lunches, special ed, preschool and more.

If that levy passes on Feb. 8, the district will additionally receive approximately $700,000 in "assistance funds" from the state annually for the length of the levy, which would run until 2026, about $2.8 million total in that four-year duration.


Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

Superintendent Paul Turner explained that the assistance dollars are given to poorer districts in the state and "helps impoverished communities equalize the levy." But a levy needs to be in effect for the district to receive those additional dollars. 

The Capital Levy for Safety, Technology and Facilities Improvement seeks to collect $595,000 in 2023, $625,000 in 2024, $644,000 in 2025, and $663,000 in 2026 from an estimated $1.70 per thousand dollars of assessed property value.

That levy is what has paid for a new roof, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, a new gym floor, and electrical upgrades at the former high school in recent years, and could pay for similar projects in the coming years on other parts of the same building, as well as at the former middle school in Grand Coulee where the Alternative Learning Environment is located.

It can also help pay for athletic facility upgrades, such as bleachers and stands, concession areas, and more, according to the document prepared by a committee supporting the levies. 

If the two levies pass, and the assistance dollars from the state are factored in, $2.1 to $2.4 million would be brought into the district annually between 2023 and 2026. 

 

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