5B - Official Ballot Question
Eagle County School District RE50J Ballot Issue No. 5B
To: ALL REGISTERED VOTERS
NOTICE OF ELECTION TO INCREASE TAXES AND DEBT ON A REFERRED MEASURE
EAGLE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT RE50J
EAGLE, GARFIELD AND ROUTT COUNTIES, COLORADO
Designated Election Official:
Melissa Gerard, Designated Election Official
Eagle County School District RE50J
948 Chambers Ave.
Eagle, CO 81631
Telephone: (970) 328-6321
Election Date: November 7, 2023
Election Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Eagle County School District RE50J Ballot Issue No. 5B
WITHOUT IMPOSING ANY NEW TAX, SHALL EAGLE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT RE50J DEBT BE INCREASED $100 MILLION, WITH A MAXIMUM TOTAL REPAYMENT COST OF NOT MORE THAN $195 MILLION FOR THE PURPOSES OF:
CONSTRUCTING EMPLOYEE HOUSING;
ENHANCING SAFETY AND SECURITY OF SCHOOLS AND CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENTS;
EXPANDING EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE SERVICES BY BUILDING THE GYPSUM EARLY LEARNING CENTER AND EXPANDING THE EDWARDS EARLY LEARNING CENTER;
ADDRESSING CRITICAL SCHOOL REPAIRS INCLUDING ROOF AND HVAC REPLACEMENTS; AND
UPDATING PLAYGROUNDS, GYMS, LOCKER ROOMS AND ATHLETIC FACILITIES;
AND FOR ACQUIRING, CONSTRUCTING OR IMPROVING ANY CAPITAL ASSETS THAT THE DISTRICT IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO OWN; AND SHALL THE TAXES AUTHORIZED AT THE DISTRICT’S BOND ELECTIONS IN 2006 AND 2016 BE EXTENDED AND AUTHORIZED TO BE USED TO PAY THE DEBT AUTHORIZED AT THIS ELECTION IN ADDITION TO THE DEBT AUTHORIZED AT SUCH PRIOR ELECTIONS; AND SHALL THE DISTRICT BE SUBJECT TO AN ANNUAL INDEPENDENT AUDIT PUBLISHED ON THE DISTRICT’S WEBSITE AND EXPENDITURES WILL BE SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY A BOARD APPOINTED CITIZENS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE?
_____ YES/FOR _____ NO/AGAINST
2023-2024 (estimated) $164,277,933
2022-2023 (actual) $141,807,506
2021-2022 (actual) $124,119,369
2020-2021 (actual) $112,322,113
2019-2020 (actual) $113,338,828
Overall percentage change from 2019-2020 to 2023-2024: 44.95% Overall dollar change from 2019-2020 to 2023-2024: $50,939,105
Information on District’s Proposed Debt
BALLOT ISSUE NO. 5B:
Principal Amount of Proposed Bonds: Not to exceed $100,000,000 Maximum Annual District Repayment Cost: Not to exceed $33,500,000
Total District Repayment Cost: Not to exceed $195,000,000
Information on District’s Current Debt*
Principal Amount Outstanding Debt: $186,320,000
Maximum Annual Repayment Cost: $20,629,152
Remaining Total Repayment Cost: $247,111,408
*Excluded from debt are enterprise and annual appropriation obligations
Summary of Written Comments FOR Ballot Issue No. 5B:
5B asks voters to approve a $100 million bond – a method of debt financing – to invest in capital projects. 5B provides the Eagle County School District (ECSD) with needed funds to build more employee housing, make safety and security improvements at local schools, build a new early learning center in Gypsum and expand existing programs, and complete other maintenance and improvements at local schools including updating playgrounds, gyms, locker rooms, and athletic facilities.
Affordable housing is linked to the ability to recruit and retain quality teachers and staff. Finding affordable housing is a question new employees think about before deciding to accept a position and move to the school district. This fall, ECSD is finishing construction of Miller Flats, located next to Battle Mountain High School. They had 150 employees apply for the development’s 37 units. Building new affordable housing helps the district be more competitive in what they have to offer employees and makes ECSD more attractive to the quality educators we want and need to bring to our community.
5B increases childcare and preschool programs to support families in our community. Access to safe childcare services and preschool helps prepare our young children to enter Kindergarten ready to learn at grade level. The Gypsum area has seen growth in more young families and these families need safe and quality childcare and preschool facilities for their children to attend. If families know their children have a great place to go for childcare and preschool, then they are able to go to work and contribute to our local economy. 5B will allow ECSD to expand early childhood education and childcare services by building an early learning center in Gypsum and expanding capacity at the Edwards Early Learning Center.
Every year we hear of more violence and safety issues in schools, and every school district considers safety a top priority. ECSD must also maintain its current facilities and have funds for improvements to keep our school buildings running efficiently and safely. 5B provides funds to replace, update, or repair roofs, HVAC, playgrounds, gyms, locker rooms, and athletic facilities which will improve learning environments and extend the useful life of existing facilities.
ECSD has an opportunity to benefit from Eagle County’s increased assessed property values to fund the mill levy opportunity and finance building employee housing and early childcare education facilities without incrementally adding to property taxes. ECSD does not receive a windfall from increased assessed property values but will benefit from the overall increase in property tax collections due to the increase in property values. In fact, because education funding in Colorado is capped by the School Finance Act and its complicated formula, ECSD will need to reduce its mill levy next year by 2 mills to stay within the requirements of capped funding. Voter approval of both 5A and 5B does not create an increase in the total mill levy paid to ECSD.
Summary of Written Comments AGAINST Ballot Issue No. 5B:
No comments were filed by the constitutional deadline