An opportunity Imbler should not pass up

Written by Observer editorial reports September 07, 2010 02:24 pm
Voters in the Imbler School District have an opportunity this month to do something positive for their community and the community’s future — approve a bond for new school buildings. Never will the cost be lower than what is being presented in a Sept. 21 special election.

The opportunity, though, is even more significant than helping to ensure adequate school buildings for years to come. The school district has received approval of a Qualified School Construction Bond that translates to zero percent interest on the building bond. The estimated tax rate will be $2.35 per $1,000 of assessed value. That compares to a rate of $4.49 per $1,000 for a $4.25 million bond that was rejected by voters in 2003. Too, deduct the $1.18 per $1,000 that Imbler property owners were paying for the ag building through 2008, and the net tax increase for this bond will be $1.17. That’s a bargain by anyone’s standards. School officials are going bare bones in designing a new elementary building and gymnasium/multipurpose building. There are no frills. But the new buildings would be safer and far more efficient than the buildings they would replace — the Red Building (constructed in 1912), Wade Hall (1929) and the east wing of the elementary (1954). Estimates in 2003 placed the cost of upgrading those buildings at $6.5 million. Simply put, the buildings have outlived their
usefulness.

Property owners in the Imbler School District will likely never seen a better opportunity to enhance their district’s facilities — enhancements that, by anyone’s estimates, are long overdue.

Imbler voters need to weigh in on this bond. The district needs a 50 percent voter turnout in addition to a majority of votes to pass the bond measure. A double majority is needed in non-primary or general elections.

Although there is a cost involved, a community’s school children are worthy of the investment. Imbler voters should not hesitate to weigh in and say that their kids matter. Vote yes.