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District hoping voters continue support

By Brenda Sexton, The Courier-Herald

In Carbonado the best way to get the word out about the school district's upcoming maintenance and operation levy is to spread the word and provide a mailing.

The Carbonado Historical School District is covering both bases and relying heavily on its reputation as a district that is well supported by its community.

The district is asking voters to approve a four-year maintenance and operation levy of $1.7 million. It will appear on the Feb. 3 ballot as Proposition No. 1.

It's a replacement levy, taking over for a 2002 voter-approved levy that expires at the end of this year. If passed, this levy will continue to provide about 22 percent of the district's budget. Primarily, it will provide money to keep class sizes small and support student learning materials, supplies, books, instruction technology materials, computer equipment, field trips, music programs, sports, transportation, maintenance and upkeep for the district's approximately 180 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Traditionally, the district has run its maintenance and operation levies in two-year increments, but this year, due to tough economic times, Superintendent Scott Hubbard said, the district is taking a conservative approach, keeping the rate at approximately the current rate with a slight decrease to taxpayers over the four-year period.

If approved, the levy works out to approximately $411,000 a year about $4.97 per $1,000 assessed valuation for taxpayers beginning in 2005. For the owner of a $100,000 home, that works out to about $497 a year. The levy would begin in 2005 and is expected to decrease each year as the value of the district raises through 2008.

Hubbard pointed out Carbonado does not have the benefits of larger communities, which draw on business income and new growth.

"We're counting on the continued support from the community," Hubbard said.

The Carbonado Historical School District is legendary for the support the community gives it. District voters, in 126 years, have never defeated a maintenance and operation levy. Getting voters to the polls, even when in recent years it's strictly a "mail-in vote" and voting positively has not been a problem. The district's 2002 maintenance and operation levy passed with 75.14 percent approval.

This year, Carbonado needs 48 "yes" votes, plus a 60 percent favorable margin to pass the levy.

Brenda Sexton can be reached at bsexton@courierherald.com

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