Survey indicates support for school bond initiative

MEEKER | Members of the Board of Education debated the best way to present a bond initiative to voters in November to fund the construction of a new high school and bus garage after reviewing the results of a non-scientific mail survey sent to residents earlier this year.

The survey indicated that a majority of potential voters—94 percent of respondents identified as voters—are in support of some kind of bond measure to fund a new high school and bus garage. Only 9 percent of those surveyed gave the high school facilities an A or B grade.

The question before the board now is what exactly to ask voters to approve in November. Board members discussed seeking voter approval of a fully-funded bond measure, or seeking partial funding for the project based on what the respondents indicated was most important: the academic wing and security issues, and then seek grants to fund the auditorium, second gym and public spaces. 

“Do we ask our community to fund the whole thing with the promise that they might not have to pay, or do we ask them to fund part of it with no guarantee of finishing the entire project?” said Superintendent Chris Selle, summing up the discussion.

The district will seek options for ballot wording from their consultant for the board to consider in August.

The board also approved:

A one-time expenditure of up to $35,000 for a new district-wide digital phone system. Switching from CenturyLink to a new digital system will pay for itself in slightly more than four years.

A letter of intent to participate in the November election. The letter does not obligate the board to put something on the ballot, but ensures that if they do decide to go forward with a bond measure they’ll be able to.

New personnel hires of Toni Francis and Jamie Laman for route and activity bus drivers; Antina DiBenedetto and Beth Bennett as co-head coaches for cheerleading; and Trevor Grant as a volunteer high school wrestling coach.