Garfield voters pass school bonds |

Garfield voters pass school bonds

John Gardner and Dennis Webb

RIFLE – A $74.9 million bond issue and a property tax over for one of Garfield county’s school district was approved by voters.”We very much appreciate the support of the voters and the parents throughout the school district,” said Dr. Gary Pack superintendent of district Re-2, which is centered in Rifle. Ballot issue 3A, a $1.6 million mill levy override that will increase the annual operating budget for the district. Funds will be for new teachers and staff, and to help cover increasing utilities and fuel costs throughout the district.

The $74.9 million will pay for a number of districtwide renovations to schools that have safety issues, and to ensure that the district continues to meet the demands of an ever-growing student population, Pack said. “We look forward to continue working with the community and providing the students with the new learning facilities,” Pack said.Districtwide renovations will include a replacing an elementary school in Silt, a new elementary school in Rifle, and a new middle school in New Castle. Major renovations are planned for Rifle High School and an elementary school in New Castle. Coal Ridge High School and Rifle Middle School will get classroom addition.Voters in Parachute approved a $35 million bond issue for their Garfield County school district. Twenty-five acres of land were donated to the district to build a new middle school. With the gift of the new land being contingent on the passing of the bond issue, it gave voters the added influence to vote yes.”It was our intent to make the proposal clear and to make the community understand our needs,” Superintendent Dr. Steve McKee said. “It’s good to know that our community supports us.”The bond will also pay for repairs at elementary schools and a new transportation facility near Grand Valley High School that will house a welding station for vocational programs and improvements to the Early Childhood Learning Center.Voters also created a Garfield County library district. Questions 1A, which asked voters to approve property tax to support enlarging libraries and increasing hours of operation, passed 9,132 votes to 5,579. The second question, 1B, which asked voters to maintain a current one-quarter cent sales tax that currently funds the library system, passed 10,250 to 4,024.It was an especially sweet victory for library district supporters. A similar ballot question was defeated in 1999.Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado

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