|Put $4.75 on the table. Along comes someone who adds $6.50 to the pot. It’s a winning deal.
Such is the case with Ballot Issue 3A, a rare opportunity for the C-1 School District, its students and the taxpayers.
Our small school district has qualified for a $6.46 million grant from the state’s BEST program – Building Excellent Schools Today. The local district must raise $4.74 million to match the state funds (much of which comes from Colorado’s excise taxes on the legal marijuana industry).
All told, the $11.2 million would be used to radically upgrade Custer County School, with improved safety and security, upgrading windows and roofing, re-plumbing antiquated drainage and sewage systems, bringing the school into compliance with Americans with Disabilities upgrades, and totally revamping the school’s heating and cooling systems which is expected to save the district tens of thousands of dollars per year which, in turn, can help improve staff salaries.
It’s been13 years since the last school bond issue. In November 2004, voters approved a nearly $2 million proposal to build the new 18,000 sf gymnasium and sports complex. Four years earlier, in November 2000, voters also approved a $3.75 million bond issue to build the new high school wing and make other improvements throughout the school, some of which dates to the 1950s.
Tax hikes are never popular in Custer County. This particular proposal would add an estimated $16.47 annually in property taxes to homes valued at $100,000.
The Custer County School District was one of about 20 schools throughout the state to qualify for the 2017 BEST grant, and if the matching funds aren’t provided this year it will be some time before we would be eligible again.
It’s a small price to pay for bringing our outstanding school system and its infrastructure into the 21st century. Vote yes on Ballot Issue 3A.