Disappointed in failure of recent levy election

To the Editor:
 We are disappointed in the results of the recent school plant and facility levy election. The levy, which needed 55 percent voter approval, failed by 13 votes. 
 The district was asking local patrons to provide funds to provide some much needed maintenance and repairs for its aging buildings. The Idaho Legislature has consistently held that school construction and maintenance are primarily the responsibility of each school district’s patrons. 
 Pioneer Elementary was built in 1955, Park Intermediate in 1956, Weiser H.S. in 1967, and Weiser M.S. in 1980. The middle school gym was built in 1936. 
 There have been several voter approved renovation and expansion projects over the years (1994, 2005, and 2015). It’s the responsibility of the board of trustees to protect the district’s assets and plan for its future to ensure a safe learning environment for the district’s 1,500 students. 
 Investing in renovation and maintenance is preferable to new construction which is currently more than $300 per square feet. 
 Replacing Pioneer would cost more than $15 million and a new Weiser High School would cost more than $37.5 million. 
 The proposed levy rate of $59 per $100,000 of taxable value over the next four years would have allowed the district to address a well-documented list of needs. By comparison, 64 percent of Lewiston school district voters approved a levy rate of $395 per $100,000 for each of the next five years. 
Wil and Megan Overgaard


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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