Both mill levies pass for Rangely schools

RANGELY | The 2017 Rangely ballot was dominated by school issues producing one new school board member and one reelected incumbent as well as providing further funding for the district through two approved mill levies.
Sam Tolley and Jason Cox won the top two positions for school board and will take their positions on the board later this month. Tolley was the highest vote getter, receiving 487 votes. He will be returning for his second four-year term on the board. Cox received 335 votes and will be replacing former board member Annette Webber who chose not to seek reelection.
Candidate Casey Ducey came away with 313 with votes while Bart Nielsen received 272 votes.
Ballot measure 3A passed overwhelmingly with 67 percent approval. The measure requested 2.67 mills, or $706,333 in additional funding to go directly to the district’s general fund. The levy will equate to an annual property tax bill increase of $42.52 for a residential property valued at $200,000 and $154.86 for a business property valued the same. The district says the funds will be used to retain quality staff and attract new hires, maintain current staffing and operations, provide textbooks and technology and maintain class sizes.
Measure 5A, which was sponsored by the Western Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District, also received 67 percent approval. The levy helps fund various athletics and activities offered by the school by providing an additional $198,000. The increased tax bill for 5A will ring in at $14.93 for a home valued at $200,000 and $43.50 for similarly valued business properties.
District Superintendent Matt Scoggins was overjoyed by the passage saying, “In the end it’s a shot in the arm for the district. I’m thrilled with the support from the community that our kids dearly needed. It’s says a lot about our community when even during down times people are willing to reach into their pockets to help the kids,” he said.
The district requested the increased funding citing years of what they called broken funding promises from the state. Scoggins says that the district has been shorted more than $3.7 million of funding from the state in the last seven years.
According to the Colorado Department of Education, Rangely RE-4 currently spends more than $10,800 per student annually.
There were a total of 825 ballots cast out of 1,562 registered voters in the Rangely district, a 46 percent turnout.