Arrow-right Camera

Washington Voices

Riverside Will Try Bond Again In November

A Riverside School District bond proposal defeated Sept. 17 will reappear on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Administrators hope heavy campaigning and a smaller price tag will turn no votes into yes votes.

After doing some fancy financial footwork, administrators dropped the bond issue’s cost to taxpayers from the 90 cents per $1,000 of assessed value advertised before the Sept. 17 vote to about 10 cents per $1,000.

The district is borrowing against reserves and is betting on favorable interest rates to reduce the cost.

“It’s a judgement call,” said Superintendent Jerry Wilson of the decision to borrow against reserves.

The bond issue would pay for a $4 million renovation of the middle school, a gym, athletic fields, Internet wiring and a bucket of small nuts and bolts improvements.

The state would pay $3.1 million of the middle school renovation.

The bond issue was offered to Sept. 17 voters as two separate proposals, but Wilson and the school board have consolidated the measures into one proposal.

One of the two Sept. 17 measures received 51 percent yes votes, far short of the 60 percent required. The second proposal got 53.7 percent no votes.

Administrators worry that the large turnout expected for the presidential election will include many voters who aren’t school supporters.

“We feel the price is right and the time is right,” said assistant superintendent Terry Weinmann. “We are going to have a strong turnout, but the question is if we are going to have a strong enough positive turnout.”

, DataTimes