by Kirk Banghart,
Consolidated School Dist. #2
At the regular Moffat Board of Education (BOE) meeting on August 19 they passed a resolution to ask the voters to approve ballot question 3A, which will provide the 27% local contribution required to receive a $12.1 million BEST grant.
In May, Moffat Consolidated School District #2 was awarded a $12.1 million-dollar grant if the district is able to pass a $4.5 million local bond issue contribution to replace the Moffat Pre-Kindergarten-12 School. The award was one of 6 grants given across the state in the last year of large scale funding. The BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today) grants are awarded to schools with the highest health, safety, and facility needs in the state. The grant will only be received if the district passes 3A; should 3A fail, the 12.1 million will go to another school district.
Through a state facilities assessment process, it was determined that the Moffat PK-12 school is in need of $9.9 million in repairs. The district by law can only raise 4.5million, 20% of the district assessed valuation. The state determined through the BEST grant process that it would offset the difference ($12.1 million) between what the district can raise and what it would cost for a new school. It was determined that it is more sustainable to build a new facility at the same cost to tax payers than to only fix half of the issues for the same cost to taxpayers.
The 1921 building was found to have critical foundation concerns during the inspection process. The engineers discovered that due to the soil acidity and the type of concrete used in the original construction, the foundation is under a massive sulfate attack. This means that, over many years, sulfate crystals that are created by ground water have formed inside the foundation and disintegrated the foundational walls. In some areas, 21-inch walls are eroded to 6 inches. In the spring of 2013, the Moffat School Board contracted with a national testing firm (Tarracon) to do structural testing on the foundation of the 1921 building. Tarracon’s core compression tests found that the 1921 building foundation rated from non-testable to 680 pounds per square inch (psi). Modern foundations rate between 3000 and 5000 psi on the same test. The district is monitoring this issue and believes that within the next two to three years, the building will have to be closed.
At the August 19 BOE meeting, the board of education weighed two different options for ballot language. Both options moved forward, with an election this November. The first option asked taxpayers to fund the full match with an additional tax increase for the bonds. The second option was a combination of mil levy increase for new bonds and a redirecting of a portion of the mil levy override dollars passed in 2010. The BOE’s final resolution was to approve the second option which utilizes already existing mil levy override dollars to reduce the total cost to taxpayers even further. BOE members felt that this option is the best for tax payers and honored the community for their continued help to support world-class schools now and in the future at both the Moffat and Crestone sites.
The cost to taxpayers on residential homes is about $3.84 per month on a $100,000 home. For commercial, the tax impact will be approximately $13.97 per month per $100,000 commercial value. And for seniors, the Homestead exemption will reduce your taxable value of your home by 50%, up to $200,000, reducing the tax burden by half.
It was stated during the August 19 meeting that ballot question 3A will provide an incredible opportunity for our school and for the Moffat/Crestone community to leverage Front Range dollars to pay for 73% of a new building for the students of our area, in which 1/2 come from the Crestone/Baca area and 1/2 come from the valley floor.
Important legal campaign deadlines for voters and the district are below
• October 7 – Last Day to Register to Vote. You can register online at sos.state.co.us/voter-classic/secuRegVoterIntro.do
• October 14-18 – Registered voters will receive ballots in the mail
• November 5 – Election Day- Last day for ballots to be received by the county
This is a mail-in only ballot election.