MESA COUNTY, Colo.- - District 51 School Board members vote to pursue a bond measure and mill levy override in the November 7, 2017 Coordinated Election.
If the bond measure is approved, it would allow the district to disperse $118.5 million in bonds that would be paid through property taxes collected for specific reasons. These include:
- $55 million for Priority 1 maintenance projects across D51 schools
- $40 million for the replacement of Orchard Mesa Middle School
- $11 million for technology updates
- $5 million for a gym at Dual Immersion Academy
- $5 million for a Palisade High School auxiliary gym
- $2.5 million for security features at schools throughout the district
The mill levy override ballot question will ask voters to raise $6.5 million dollars annually in property tax revenue, within District 51 boundaries. This would fund the following:
- $3.2 million to add 5 additional student contact days in the school calendar
- $2 million for curriculum
- $1 million for ongoing maintenance beyond Priority 1 projects
- $300,000 for ongoing technology resources and support
Officials say that Orchard Mesa Middle School needs the replacement. "It's just an old, sorry building. It smells bad, they have sewer leaks, it's not safe, it's hard to heat, there are pictures I've seen of weeds growing through cracks in the floor. Our kids just deserve better than that," says John Williams, a Board member of District 51.
2004 was the last time a bond measure and mill levy override was approved by voters.