Sequim School District sets public forums on levy questions

SEQUIM — A public forum, the first of two this month, is planned Thursday to present information about two Sequim School District levy measures that will be on the Feb. 14 special election ballot.

Thursday’s forum will be from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the library at Sequim High School at 601 N. Sequim Ave.

The second forum, which will be co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Clallam County, will be from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the Sequim Transit Center at 190 W. Cedar St. Nancy Esteb from the League of Women Voters will serve as moderator.

At each public forum, time will be set aside for questions after a short presentation by Superintendent Gary Neal.

The Sequim School District is asking voters to approve a four-year renewal of the educational programs and operation (EP&O) levy and a three-year capital projects levy.

The current EP&O levy was last approved by voters in 2013 and will expire at the end of December.

The estimated property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed valuation will be $1.52 in 2018, $1.54 in 2019, $1.55 in 2020 and $1.57 in 2021.

It will provide the following amounts for the district: $6.3 million in 2018, $6.5 million in 2019, $6.7 million in 2020 and $6.9 million in 2021.

EP&O dollars provide for expansion of programs not available otherwise, as well as certificated staff, educational support staff, district support staff, extracurricular programs, technology, curriculum and transportation expenses that are not state-funded, district officials said.

The capital projects levy would fund demolition of the unused portion of Sequim Community School, which was built in 1949 and closed in 2012 due to unsafe conditions, and help with funds to upgrade the district kitchen.

The estimated property tax rate per $1,000 of assessed valuation is 16 cents in 2018, 36 cents in 2019 and 81 cents in 2020.

The levy would provide the following amounts for the district: $681,000 in 2018, $1.5 million in 2019 and $3.5 million in 2020.

Removal of the unused portion of the building will allow the district to qualify for $4.3 million in state matching funds for new school construction once a construction bond is approved, district officials said.

The upgrade of the central kitchen facility would include modernizing HVAC, electrical and fire protection systems; installing a double door; and increasing freezer space.

The central kitchen facility currently has outdated appliances, and the freezer holds enough space for just two days’ worth of food for the district’s student population of more than 2,700, district officials said.

For more information, contact the district office at 360-582-3260.

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