TONASKET — A capital projects levy request will go before voters on the Nov. 6 general election ballot for residents in the Tonasket School District, with the goal of raising $4,251,555 over six years.
If approved, the levy would cost property owners approximately $1.40 per $1,000 of assessed property value and would result in a lower overall school tax than 2018 assessments.
Top priorities for the levy include replacing a 23-year old heating, ventilation and air conditioning system that is constantly breaking down, according to school officials. Valves throughout the heating and cooling system are starting to leak propylene glycol, which the district is constantly addressing.
According to staff, replacing the system is an urgent need to maintain an ideal temperature within the buildings for the health of students and staff throughout the district. Replacement of the system would increase energy efficiency.
Funds also would be used to improve school safety and security by with a new electronic key system and changing entryways in the elementary, middle and high school. Visitors to the school campus now can walk past school offices without checking in when entering the building. With the proposed remodel of building entrances, visitors will need to check into the office before being cleared to enter the general area.
The elementary school roof needs to be replaced, school officials said. Shingles are starting to deteriorate and separate from the roof, with sand on the shingles wearing off and exposing the fiberglass, according to school officials.
Staff say they hope to replace the roof before it begins to leak. Leaking can lead to significant damage to the interior of the building and cause mold issues, which then become a health concern.
Levy funds would be used to expand the high school shop area for vocational education programs. School officials report the current shop facility is too small to offer the programs needed to prepare students for career opportunities in the trades.
The levy will be voted on during the general election Nov. 6.
The last day to register to vote in person at the Okanogan County Auditor’s Office for people not currently registered in Washington is Oct. 29. Deadline for registering by mail or online has passed.
The auditor’s office is at 149 N. Third Ave., Okanogan, or P.O. Box 1010, Okanogan, WA 98840.
Senior citizens who earn less than $40,000 per year or people unable to work due to disability may qualify to receive an exemption.
For more levy information, visit the school district’s website at tonasket.wednet.edu or call the district office at 509-486-2126.