Weld RE-4 school district voters will make a decision this fall.
The Weld RE-4 School Board voted Monday night to include a $271 million bond bill and a $5 million factory levy tax preference in the November ballot. Time is 2 years.
School district voters rejected both the bond and the MLO in November 2021. School districts continue to maintain funding needs to provide new schools, renovated schools, and other facilities in the face of increased student numbers that lead to overcrowding.
The Board’s decision was made by a 4-1 vote during a meeting at the district administration building in Windsor on Monday.
Board members Russ Smart, Lance Nichols, Patrick Miller and Regan Price voted in favor of adding fixed income and MLOs to the ballot. This approval was due from his board of directors in March 2020, just days before the onset of COVID-19. Pandemic. The district postponed bond issuance later in the year due to economic uncertainty as a result of the pandemic.
“We’re behind the 8-ball and we have to get something done,” Nichols said in support of Kizuna.
Aaron Smith read a short statement on the vote against bonds and MLOs this year, considering the uncertain economy based on conversations and comments he heard from district residents.
“The assumed tax burden is too much for many families,” Smith said in a statement. “I cannot support a bond package,” he added, adding that the expected cost of the bond is a challenge to many of the people he spoke to in the district community. I have not.”
The $271 million proposal is a reduction from the $294 million package option recommended earlier this year by the district’s bond steering committee. To lower the cost of endorsements, the district under his $294 million bond package plans to build a new 900-student building instead of the previously planned 1,200-student building. I chose middle school.
There was discussion among the five-man board before the vote, which took place near the end of the approximately two-hour meeting. Earlier in the evening, 11 people addressed the Board during his 30-minute public comment period on the meeting agenda. The majority of those who spoke to the board said they supported the bond. It included a handful of people who spent part of the night.
Weld RE-4 Together, a grassroots community group formed in early July, held a tailgate party to discuss decisions from bonds, MLOs, and the board, according to Weld RE-4 Together leader Bobby Warner. expressed support.
Members of this group held up signs and encouraged passing drivers to honk their horns in support of Bond and the MLO. Mr. Warner was one of his district residents to hold a sign in front of the administration building and also addressed the board during his public comment period.
“There are a lot of schools and students and a lot of people interested in the passage of bonds and MLOs,” Warner said in the evening. “I just want to show them that I support the[board’s]decision to put it to a vote.”
Prior to the board vote, member conversations about bonds and MLOs were at times intense and passionate. After Smith read his statement and went on record for not voting in favor of the measure, Executive Board Smart said the MLO would be used for specific purposes.
MLO languages are:
“The Weld County School District No. RE-4 tax will increase up to $5 million annually (half of the state annual amount will be phased in over two years) to provide funding for the following: will be done).”
- Retain and recruit quality teachers and support staff to remain competitive with other school districts and for new facility start-up/labor costs.
- A property tax levied at a factory tax rate sufficient to produce the amount specified above, which taxes are credited to the district’s General Fund and which are permitted to be levied on the General Fund. be added?
The bond ballot text is longer, but part of it reads:
“Weld County School District No. RE-4’s debt increased to $271 million, repayment costs up to $495 million, district taxes increased to $19.8 million annually, and spending on acquisition, construction, repair, equipment, and improvements to district capital assets, including:”
- Construction of two new elementary schools.
- Construction of a new secondary school.
- Expansion of Severance Middle School.
- Expansion of Severance High School.
- New Career and Technical Education Center at Severance High School.
- Replace and enhance safety and security infrastructure.
- Expansion of Windsor Charter Academy.When
- Repairs and improvements to other district schools and operating facilities to extend their useful life, and acquisition of currently leased capital assets, as funds permit.
Miller said the amount of feedback he’s heard and received about bonds and MLOs has convinced him there will be support for the funding request.
“I think we have to make it public. It’s up to taxpayers to decide,” Smart added.
Price said the guiding premise for supporting Bond and MLO is the educational welfare of Weld RE-4 students.
“It’s not going to be modular,” she added, explaining educational welfare. “Creating the perfect learning space for them to learn.”
Ms. Price became more animated as the story progressed, commenting on the measures and her thoughts. Price said she was upset with the situation the district was in and asked for her second guarantee after two years, saying she was two years behind schedule, but she has no other choice, she said.
Both Price and Miller expressed dissatisfaction with the failure of the remedy a year ago and at a much lower cost. In 2021, Weld RE-4 pursued his $179 million bond package and his $3 million MLO.
“I know it costs money,” Price said. “This is him two years too late, it’s even worse, and $100 million is too much. I’m mad. It has to be done.”
Smith said he was hearing from voters’ constituencies that the need for bonds was not an issue. The question, Smith said, is how to cut his current $271 million package “to make it a compromise that people can afford and benefit the school district.”
“My feeling is they want it down,” added Smith. “We know how close their votes are.
During Monday night’s talks, Smith didn’t specify which components of the package could be removed to lower the price.
Nichols said the need for bonds is evident in the infrastructure of the building’s corridors and common areas, which account for a significant portion of the school’s overcrowding. Nichols said class sizes could be reduced, but school districts can’t get around crowded hallways.
“We need hallways to feed those students,” Nichols said. “We are now at a point where we have to do something.”
Smith pointed out that the proposed 20,800-square-foot Career and Technical Education Center (CTE) at Severance High School in the current bond package does not fix or address overcrowding in core areas such as hallways. According to the district, the inclusion of the center comes as a result of high demand for career and technical education subjects such as cooking, welding and vocational agriculture. The estimated cost of the center he is $13.2 million.
“The truth is, there’s a lot of useless stuff here,” Smith said of the bond package. ”
Price said he believes the Career and Technical Education Center is innovative and necessary for students. Price and Nichols also continued to support the view that the time has passed for school districts to catch up with their growth.
Smith also addressed what he called “increasing frustration” over the board saying it wasn’t ready for the debate that started Monday night and needed more time. Smith said a detailed conversation should take place when bond packages are “locked in.”
Smart and Price told Smith they have been receiving cost figures over the past several weeks from the fixed income management committee. Price said he was not in favor of a new 1,200-student secondary school and that plans had changed.
New superintendent Michelle Scallon said district leaders recently met with housing officials in the city of Greeley.The Weld RE-4 unit expects Greeley to have an additional 11,000 housing units in the near future in the district’s border area. I heard that you are
Scallon said Windsor’s Grandview Elementary has no additional space for modulars. One of his frequently asked questions on his website for the 2022 bond is what happens if the bond doesn’t pass. The school district’s answer is that they will likely need to implement “creative scheduling options,” such as year-round schools and split schedules, to manage capacity challenges. The answer also states that school districts should add modules and increase class sizes.
“Looking at what’s going on right now, I’m worried that we’ll have to reschedule the site next year,” Scanlon told the board.
Scallon said earlier in the conference that the district will have about 8,350 students this year.
Scallon stressed that school districts should consider alternative plans for students if the guarantee fails, but also said there was a lot of misinformation in the community. and new chief operating officer Michael McCullar, and director of communications Katie Smith, said they are meeting with groups and individuals to spread the facts about fixed income and MLOs.
“We ask people to open their minds and listen to the facts,” continues Scanlon. “We have to communicate this bond, we have to do it together. This is something we have to understand. It’s for our children. I know there will be controversy.” and we all hate taxes.”