Schools levy ballots are in the mail

Voters living within the Quillayute Valley School District (QVSD) should be seeing ballots for the school district’s four-year maintenance and operation levy in the mail within days.

The ballots were scheduled to be mailed out on Wednesday, Jan. 23 by the Clallam County Auditor’s Office - Elections.

The new levy the school district is seeking approval for is set at the same rate for property tax payers as the existing two-year levy, with the $1.45 per thousand of valuation rate dipping down to $1.41 by 2017.

At a recent QVSD meeting discussion about going for a four-year, instead of continuing two-year, levy came up. The school board’s reasoning was to save on the cost of holding a special election every two years. This year QVSD is sharing the special election cost with the Sequim school district. The cost for such an election can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

The M&O levy for the QVSD pays for upkeep of school facilities plus a wide range of areas not funded by the Washington state including student activities, helps lower the student to teacher ratio and provides other educational benefits to the schools. 

A vote of 50 percent plus one vote is needed for passage of the M&O levy. The election ends on Feb. 12.

If voters reject the levy the school district would lose about $2 million in levy equalization funds from the state. These funds balance the lack of local funding in rural, lesser-populated school districts with that of high-population districts with larger school populations.

Included in the levy is funding to resurface the Spartan Stadium track. QVSD Superintendent Diana Reaume told the Forks Chamber of Commerce members at their Jan. 16 meeting that following the levy election a committee will begin discussing the demolition and replacement of the existing Spartan Stadium stands, which were built by the Forks Lions Club in 1960. Reaume said new state education regulation changes now allow for corporate sponsorship of high school stadiums. She said no state funds would be used in constructing the new stadium, and that support from the community and local organizations would be sought in assessing the project. The stands would be ADA compliant, Reaume said.

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