On Tuesday, March 11, five school districts will ask patrons to vote for either a bond or levy. The second-largest amount requested in our area is from the Madison School District.
Madison School District is looking to replace a current levy passed in 2005 that will expire next year. The proposed plant facility levy is for $2.5 million per year for 10 years.
Since 2002, the district has grown by an average of 100 students per year. That growth is why the proposed levy is about a $1 million more than the current one.
"It's figured annually it would cost about $83 per $100,000 assessed value," said Varr Snedaker, business manager at Madison School District.
Kennedy Elementary School is one of the many projects under the previous levy. The highlights include a new wing with new classrooms, more technology and a gym, that Principal Lyle Jeppesen calls a multi-purpose room.
One of the biggest priorities was school security. The district added doors inside the foyer so that visitors had to pass through the office in order to enter the building.
"We want schools that are safe, comfortable, they don't have to be elaborate but they have to meet certain needs," said Jeppesen.
Plant facility levies allow for future planning. At Kennedy Elementary, that means the new wing included the infrastructure for future expansion. What is currently a storage closet is, "actually a hallway for a future addition down the road," Jeppesen said.
Past levy funds were also used in part to finish the new high school and update the junior high. The district priorities for the new levy are safety, technology, maintenance, and reducing future bonds.
"Whether we increase our plant facility levy now or we bond for more money later I think we are talking the same dollars," said Snedaker.
"it takes investment; there is no way around it. You can't come this far and then just stop," said Jeppesen.
The new levy would raise taxes but it does need a two-thirds majority to pass.
Plant facility funds cannot be used for salaries or benefits.
Madison School District Levy Information: https://ax.d321.k12.id.us/apex/f?p=103:NEWS:::::P3_NEWS_ID:1706