Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Levy makes good sense

We are writing this letter to detail some reasons why you should vote yes on the School Facilities Levy on Oct. 29.

Excellent schools are a way to increase the economic vitality of our communities. The quality of our schools was a factor in why we chose to live here. If we want to continue to attract new families to our county and keep the families that are currently living here, we need the best schools.

A levy as opposed to a bond is fiscally responsible. A levy collects money from taxpayers annually, avoiding costly interest payments incurred with a bond. If Woodside Elementary and Wood River High School had been financed with a bond instead of a levy, it would have cost taxpayers over $10 million more for increased interest costs. In July 2010, the district will be debt free. Few school districts can make that claim.

Some argue that the facilities levy will not support curriculum. However, by using the levy to fund facilities, more money from the budget would be available for curriculum. 

All of us are impacted by today's economic conditions. Though the levy would not increase current property taxes, we are all trying to reduce expenses. Modern technologies and a modern curriculum are required to keep our kids competitive in this challenging environment. It's time to keep that smart long-term investment perspective.

We urge everyone to vote yes for the levy on Oct. 29. This is necessary to keep Blaine County one of the best places in the world to live.

Michael Burchmore and Shannon Finnegan

John and Gretchen Gorham

Phil and Ann Doerflein

Julie and Bob Lynn

Dave Chase

Parents of students at Hemingway Elementary School and Wood River Middle School

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