Montrose district loses vote for school

A mill levy override proposed by Plateau Valley School District 50 was passing by a mere 21 votes as of early today.

With 88 percent of all ballots cast by Mesa County’s active, registered voters counted by midnight, the overrride was passing 648 votes to 627 votes, or 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent.

The override, known as Referred Measure 3A, asked permission to increase property taxes within Plateau Valley boundaries by $350,000 a year. The district planned to use the money for teacher retention and recruitment, textbook and technology purchases, repairs, and development of new educational programs.

Voters were more decisive in West End School District Re-2, where western Montrose County voters knocked down a bond measure that would have helped the district build a new pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade school. As of 9 p.m., unofficial results from the Montrose County Elections Department listed 385 votes against the bond issue and 121 votes in favor, a 76 percent to 24 percent defeat.

The new school was set to replace and combine the populations of an aging pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school in Naturita and a high school in Nucla. The district requested the bond issue to raise funds to unlock a $12.98 million Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) Grant from the state to help pay for the $21.9 million building replacement project. The bond issue would have increased property taxes in the school district by up to $780,000 per year and allowed the district to take on the maximum bonded indebtedness allowed for West End, $8.93 million, to pair with the grant’s funding to complete the project.

West End Re-2 is among 18 school districts approved for a BEST Large Project Grant in the 2012-13 grant cycle. Four districts were placed on a “back-up” list in case a district was unable to summon matching funds.


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