KSD to host levy workshop

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KELLOGG — The Kellogg School District has announced it will host a levy and bond workshop next week to discuss the financial options that the district has for upcoming election cycles.

While no specifics on this meeting are available as of press time, the district isn’t a stranger to attempting and passing levies and bonds.

In 2017, the district passed its regular two-year supplemental levy for $5,360,000, which will expire in 2020. This means that KSD will most likely be looking to pass a similar measure during the 2019 election cycle.

Earlier this year, the district tabled discussions regarding a separate plant and facilities levy.

That proposed levy amount was $575,000 per year for 10 years, for a total of $5,750,000 and it would have needed to pass with 60 percent approval.

The cancellation was due mostly to the approval of the OMNIBUS spending bill, which had Secure Rural Schools funds included in it.

Because of the OMNIBUS bill approval, the district received $582,954.55 in payments from two missed years of SRS payments. These new funds led to the Kellogg School Board quashing the proposed levy just weeks before it was to be voted on.

The money received was only a one-tenth of what the district had hoped to get through that levy, meaning that more monies will be needed if the district is to get their facilities up to date.

With all of this in mind, the upcoming Kellogg School Board workshop will discuss the district’s options moving forward.

“It is a meeting to go over options for upcoming levies. No decisions have been made yet,” said KSD Superintendent Dr. Nancy Larsen. “It is fact-finding which will lead to a decision, but probably in the future.”

The district has already provided a list of things that it wants to upgrade, both district-wide and specific to each school.

Upgrading security features at each building, adding cameras and recording devices to the new single-entry systems are currently at the top of the list.

Each facility also has many specific needs that are sure to be discussed when making any decisions.

Historically Shoshone County would receive a chunk of money from the Federal Government in the form of Secure Rural Schools funds, these funds have been vital to the existence of rural schools and roads over the past 18 years.

The Secure Rural Schools Act was initiated in 2000 and provides consistent and reliable funding for more than 775 rural counties and 4,400 schools located near national forests across the United States.

The Act also helps pay for restoration and stewardship projects on our public lands and forests.

Idaho currently boasts over 20 million acres of National Forest (second only to California) and received $23,470,051.88 (or about $1.15 per acre) in SRS money.

The workshop will be held at the Kellogg School District office on Monday, Dec. 3 at 5 p.m.

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