School Issues Dominate Ballots In Region Airway Heights Presents Revamped Sewer Measure
Eastern Washington residents may have little influence on the presidential nominations, but they’ll have the last word today on a wide range of local issues.
Airway Heights residents will get another chance to approve a $1.7 million bond measure to build a sewer system - mostly serving existing homes and businesses.
A similar proposal failed with only 39 percent support last November. City Administrator Mike Patterson said proponents became concerned that the proposal gave too much leeway to city officials, but those concerns since have been resolved.
Only a small part of the West Plains city has sewer service, although the city of Spokane has agreed to treat 280,000 gallons of effluent per day.
Patterson said developers want to snap up the sewage-treatment capacity if the bond measure doesn’t get the necessary 60 percent support this time.
Most of the estimated $6 million cost of the sewer system would be paid for with a federal grant. The bonds would be repaid in a maximum of 40 years, but city officials hope to pay them off in half that time.
The estimated cost to taxpayers is $2.20 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Elsewhere in Spokane County, the city of Millwood is voting on annexation to the Spokane County Library District. Also, Tekoa and Rosalia school district voters in Spokane and Whitman counties are being asked to approve operating levies.
The Tekoa levy would collect $230,000 in both 1997 and 1998 at estimated rates of $6.22 and $6.15 per $1,000 of assessed value. The one-year $299,000 Rosalia levy would cost an estimated $4.98 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.
In Stevens County, Chewelah School District residents face a $6.96 million bond measure to build a middle school and improve other district facilities.
Construction would begin in summer 1997 and be completed in time for the new Jenkins Middle School to open in September 1998 if the bond measure receives the necessary 60 percent approval.
The new middle school would be built on a soccer field next to Jenkins High School; the soccer field would be relocated at the old middle school site about four blocks away.
The bond measure also calls for the high school and Gess Elementary School to be renovated. Other projects would include improvement of athletic fields and construction of a bus washer to replace buckets and sponges.
If approved, the bond measure would “wrap around” an existing bond payment that expires in six years. The new measure would add about $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to the existing payment of 37 cents per $1,000.
Elsewhere in Stevens County, voters in the Onion Creek School District north of Colville are being asked to approve a two-year $25,000-per-year operating levy that would cost $1.61 per $1,000 assessed valuation.
In Lincoln County, school levies are on the ballot in the Creston, Harrington, Sprague and Wilbur school districts.
Creston School District is seeking a two-year $152,000-per-year operating levy that would cost $2.82 per $1,000 assessed valuation.
Harrington School District voters face two levies - one for routine operations, the other to buy buses. The operating levy would collect $250,000 in 1997 at an estimated rate of $3.72 per $1,000 assessed valuation; the two-year bus levy would collect $25,000 in 1997 and 1998 at an estimated rate of 36 cents per $1,000.
Sprague School District patrons are being asked to approve a two-year $162,000-per-year operating levy at an estimated rate of $3.87 per $1,000 assessed valuation.
Wilbur School District patrons face a one-year $335,000 operating levy which would cost them approximately $4.01 per $1,000 assessed valuation.
In Whitman County, Colton voters will consider the largest tax issue: a $1.15 million bond for additional classrooms, improved energy efficiency, handicapped access and other capital improvements at the Colton school.
Colton also will consider a $261,947 school operation and maintenance levy which would cost an estimated $4.99 per $1,000 assessed valuation.
Palouse voters will decide on a $230,000 maintenance and operation levy, equal to $5.41 per $1,000 assessed valuation, for the Palouse School District.
Garfield will weigh two levies for its school district: a $190,000 maintenance and operation levy and a $20,000 capital projects fund levy. The two would cost a total of of $6.42 per $1,000 assessed valuation.
Two levies are on the ballot for the Steptoe School District: a $70,000 maintenance and operation levy and a $10,000 levy to repair and improve the school building. The two would be paid for with a total assessment of $4.38 per $1,000 assessed valuation.
The Oakesdale School District is seeking a $220,000 maintenance and operation levy which would cost $4.41 per $1,000 assessed valuation.
The Oakesdale cemetery district has a $15,000 general maintenance levy on the ballot which would cost 40 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation.
Rosalia residents will vote on a levy for $25,000 ($2.15 per $1,000 assessed valuation) for capital improvements and maintenance of town streets, as well as a park and recreation district levy of $35,000 (57 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation).
In Garfield, voters will consider a $35,000 Park and Recreation District levy which would cost $1.07 per $1,000 assessed valuation.
Endicott voters will decide whether to form their own park and recreation district.