Chimacum replacement levy on primary ballot

CHIMACUM — Ballots for the primary election have been mailed and voters in the Chimacum school district have a levy to decide.

They are asked to turn their ballots over.

“The Chimacum School District special election levy is on the back side of the ballot,” said Rick Thompson, superintendent of Chimacum public schools.

“It could get lost back there, so I hope people will find it easily.”

The $7.95 million levy will be used for the school district’s capital projects fund to make improvements to facilities, technology and safety. Passage requires a 50 percent plus one majority.

Beginning in 2019 and running through 2024, the estimated levy rate per $1,000 in assessed value would begin at $0.677 and decrease to $0.614. Each year the levy amount would be $1.325 million.

“The school levy is important to our district,” Thompson said. “It is not a new levy; it’s a replacement for the capital and technology levy that has been in place for the past six years. It is not a bond.

“Money will be collected annually rather than upfront. And, there’s no interest paid on the money. This is a short-term funding solution.”

Thompson said the money will be used for infrastructure that is important to repair and maintain, for safety upgrades and for technology.

It can’t be used for salaries.

Some of the items on the district’s repair list include roofing the primary school, replacing flooring — including the multi-purpose room gym floor — renovating building exteriors, making upgrades to the HVAC systems, and improving the electrical and lighting systems.

Technology upgrades — including laptops, servers and communications systems — also are part of the plan.

“Students and staff use technology daily and we need to upgrade our systems to handle the amount of use,” Thompson said.

Thompson said security and safety improvements are essential to creating a safe environment.

“We want to implement more safety measures like specialized hardware, locks and crash bars on doors,” he said.

”We want to expand the security camera system that we have.”

Thompson encourages those with questions about the levy to contact him at 360-302-5896.

Ballots can be mailed postage paid for this election and must be postmarked by Aug. 7. By Friday, 1,905 ballots mailed to district voters had been returned out of 9,524 eligible voters.

A homeowner’s taxes resulting from the levy may be a deductible expense on their federal income taxes, Thompson said. A disabled person or someone 61 years or older may be eligible for a levy tax exemption. The Jefferson County Assessor’s Office can answer questions at 360-385-9105.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-3225 or at [email protected]

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