elections

Voters cast their ballots at the Jack R. Hamilton community building in Idaho Falls on Election Day on Nov. 6.

Nine school districts in the Post Register’s coverage area, including Salmon School District 291, Idaho Falls School District 91 and Fremont County Joint School District 215, are looking to pass bond and/or levy measures Tuesday.

Voting booths will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at your local precincts.

Here’s a breakdown for each bond and levy on the ballots:

Salmon School District 291

Salmon School District is asking patrons to pass a $25.6 million bond to build a new school for 650 pre-kindergarten to eighth-grade students to address aging and overcrowded facilities.

The bond would fund a special education program, which would be a part of the new school, for children ages 3 to 5 who currently receive help at an off-campus building.

It is the ninth time a bond has been proposed to upgrade Salmon’s elementary and junior-senior high schools, superintendent Chris Born said.

“There are several problems we’re trying to fix with minimal expense,” Born said.

Fifth-grade students currently receive instruction in portable classrooms outside Pioneer Elementary School and students in sixth to eighth grade are educated mostly in portables outside Salmon Junior-Senior High School.

If the bond passes, the district would look to eliminate three portables used by middle schoolers, as well as to consolidate the school district office and music office into one building. The district is also looking to develop its campus on one side of U.S. Highway 93, Born said.

Born said there is no design or architecture involved yet, as previous bonds have been voted down due to patrons not liking the design for previous elementary and middle school projects.

“We haven’t presented a design yet because people picked apart of the design in the past,” Born said. “Our idea is to secure the funds and then take our time and get with the architects, community and engineers to build something we can all agree on.”

Born said the bond would increase Salmon School District’s levy rate from 70 cents per $1,000 of taxable value to $3.35 per $1,000 — an increase of $2.65 per $1,000 of taxable value to patron’s property tax.

“We’ve had a strong community group get out and get people to vote,” Born said.

Idaho Falls School District 91

District 91 patrons will vote on a two-year, $13.6 million supplemental levy. District 91’s levy rate has not changed since 2003. The levy continuation, if approved, would begin July 1 and last until June 30, 2021.

District 91 Superintendent George Boland said the levy will go toward salaries and benefits for teachers and classified staff — employees that are overtime eligible and are in tech support positions within the district.

Blackfoot School District 55

Patrons in the Blackfoot School District will vote on a two-year, $4.55 million supplemental levy. The $2.27 million-per-year levy will be a slight increase from a $2.15 million-a-year levy approved in 2017.

Superintendent Brian Kress said the supplemental levy increase is to help adjust to the cost of living, as the levy will pay for staff salaries and benefits as well as curriculum, staff and technology purchases.

“In Blackfoot we are so grateful to be able to provide a diverse course selection,” Kress said. “We have a diverse population, and we’re able to continue those diverse courses due to patrons being supportive of the supplemental levy.”

Ririe School District 252

Ririe School District patrons will vote on a two-year, $580,000 supplemental levy. The $290,000-a-year levy is an increase from the $220,000-a-year levy approved in 2017.

Ririe School District officials said the district would use the additional $70,000 to maintain existing programs, increase classified salaries and build its fund balance to qualify for low interest rates for future bonds.

Fremont County Joint School District 215

Fremont County Joint School District patrons will vote on a two-year, $3 million supplemental levy . The district has collected the same levy amount since 2013 .

Snake River School District 52

Patrons of Snake River School District will vote on a two-year, $1.5 million supplemental levy that was approved in 2017 .

Challis Joint School District 181

Patrons will vote on a two-year, $800,000 supplemental levy that has stayed the same since 2013.

Butte County Joint School District 111

Patrons will vote on a two-year, $320,000 supplemental levy and a two-year, $203,000 plant facilities levy. The plant facilities levy, used to upgrade and maintain existing lighting, heating ventilation and sanitation, would increase from $100,000 to $103,000 on July 1, 2020.

The supplemental levy, which is $160,000-a-year, has been in place since at least the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Clark County School District 161

Clark County School District patrons will vote on a two-year, $500,000 supplemental levy that has been in place since 2015.

Luke O’Roark is a reporter for the Post Register. He can be reached at 208-542-6763. You can also follow him on Twitter: @LukeORoark

Education Reporter

An education reporter interested in a variety of topics — basketball, television, hip hop, philosophy. Has been working at the Post Register for close to two years.

Load comments