Questions 3A and 3Bhelp build good schools
Tuesday, the Summit Daily News endorsed the mill levy and bond referendums the Summit School District placed on the Nov. 2 ballot.They are Question 3A, the $4 million a year special mill levy, and Question 3B, the $32.6 million, 20-year bond issue.Tuesday, we said the mill levy is the most important of the two because it helps bolster every-day learning at the schools.Today, we’ll discuss the bond issue which is aimed at capital costs in renovating and building additions to three schools, Summit Middle School, Frisco Elementary School and Summit High School.This is phase II of a much-needed program begun in 2001 to deal with deteriorating schools and growth. The focal point of phase I was the beautiful new Silverthorne Elementary School and attractive renovations and additions to Breckenridge Elementary School and Dillon Valley Elementary School.Summit Middle School, a maintenance money pit, is the centerpiece of the financing for phase II. School officials estimate it will cost $23.1 million to tear down the old, disrepaired rotunda sections, the old pool and other areas, and to replace the square footage.In the end, the school will be 20-percent smaller and less expensive to maintain. It’s mechanical systems will be sound. It will have room to educate 900 students. Current enrollment is about 660. Frisco Elementary needs as much help as Breckenridge Elementary did. It gets $3.7 million in repairs and upgrades.Summit High School is slated for $5.4 million in upgrades and a new career and technical education wing. Both the mill levy and the bond issue bolster career and technical education to help the high school prepare collegebound, and more importantly the non-collegebound, for the working world.The bond issue will cost a homeowner with a $400,000 house 1.22 mills or $38.80 a year in property taxes, which equates to slightly more than a dime a day.The mill levy would cost the same homeowner $107.39 a year, or about 30 cents a day. So if both pass, the taxpayer would pay $146.19. The current special mill levy tax burden is $242.62. The savings, compared to the present amount, is $96.43.Some taxpayers have told us it’s disingenuous to describe this savings when potentially, the savings could be the whole $242.62 if both fail. That’s true, but the best deal for the community is to foster the best school system possible. The best costs money, and when it comes to schools, the payback is in an educated, well-rounded citizenry and fortified property values.At 40 cents a day, it’s difficult to see how anyone can suggest 3A and 3B are not affordable for Summit County.
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