Russ Garrity: Vote for funds

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On Nov. 6, the South Routt community will be asked to vote on the following two ballot issues that are critical to the future of our South Routt schools: Referendum 3A, a mill levy override, and Referendum 3B, which would fund the replacement of the schools' heating systems. I am asking you to vote "yes" on both these critical issues.

First, let me address Referendum 3A, the mill levy override. The amount of money that South Routt School District receives from the Colorado Department of Education to fund our schools is based on the number of students that enroll in our district. For each student we enroll, the state contributes approximately $8,200 to our general fund. From 1998 to 2007, the number of students at South Routt School District decreased from 450 to 389. For the year 2006 alone, this loss of students cost our district about $344,000.

While the revenues used to operate the South Routt schools have steadily decreased, the school operating costs (e.g. bus fuel costs, utility bills, snow removal costs, insurance premiums, etc.) have risen substantially. These trends have adversely affected our annual budget and the reserves in our general fund. Voting yes on ballot issue 3A will raise a maximum of $360,000 per year to help us to properly fund our schools.

Referendum 3B will replace school heating systems. The current coal boilers at both South Routt district campuses are at least 36 years old and are in a state of ill-repair. The original boiler manufacturer is no longer in business, and that makes the boilers very costly to maintain. Replacement parts are difficult to acquire because they must be custom made. It is estimated that 30 percent of the district's maintenance costs are related to the upkeep of the coal boiler systems. In addition, coal boilers emit particulates to the air, producing a dirty and potentially unhealthy environment.

Based on our pressing needs, the state of Colorado has awarded our school district a $1.57 million Capital Construction Grant to replace our heating systems. If the South Routt School District cannot provide the matching funds required for this grant, we will lose the $1.57 million and we will face financial hardship when the heating systems finally fail. Voting yes on ballot issue 3B will allow us to raise the matching funds needed to replace the boilers at both campuses with clean and energy efficient ground-source heating pumps.

The overall impact of voting yes on 3A and 3B will be a net increase to taxpayers of 1 mill. For a residential property owner of a $236,000 house in our district, the tax increase will be less than $19 per year. Please vote yes on 3A and 3B.

Russ Garrity

Oak Creek

Comments

JQPUBLIC 7 years, 2 months ago

Questions.... didn't the $8.9 million school bond issue for building upgrades pass in 2000? Wasn't the heating system in trouble then? Who decided a new gym, locker rooms and carpeting were more important than a heating system? Did the schools "wants" come before the schools "needs" because the politicians knew they could get the taxpayers to fork over more money for "badly needed necessities" later? Shall we play "how to manipulate the taxpayers" one more time?

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Wendy Villa 7 years, 2 months ago

Our school children need and deserve to be able keep what is left of the school programs in tact. Currently, the only way to do so is to vote yes. Please don't let the misuse of previous administrations decisions hinder your decision for the current needs. If you vote no, the main people who will suffer will be the children.

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bluntman 7 years, 2 months ago

sharing the love from that 1/2 cent sales tax collected for the Middle Routt schools' discretionary spending on luxury items (artificial turf football field, etc., etc.) would go a long way in ensuring that the other schools in the county are able to acquire "badly needed necessities", much less the frivolous "wants" and "needs".

talk about playing "how to manipulate the taxpayers".

riiight...

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ItBcoldInHere 7 years, 1 month ago

The school kids on both campuses, Jr. and Sr. High have suffered enough with the coal smoke and the cold classrooms. We definitly need heat. Without heat, while shivering we cannont completely concentrate on our classwork. Plus, wearing winter coats in class is very uncomfortable! We shouldn't have to do this everyday during the winter. Another thing, the coal smoke is making kids who have asthma suffer worse than the kids who don't. The smoke is killing us! We deserve much better working environments. The coal boilers are also hard to maintain and we can't repair them, we must get a new heating system. Unless you want your communities Jr. and Sr. High School kids to work in a very cold environment and grow up to possibly have lung problems due to a dirty and unhealthy environment, you should VOTE YES on Referendum 3B; replacing school heating systems.

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chuckles 7 years, 1 month ago

Based on information I have learned about referendum 3a, I think it should approved. Currently, the Soroco district is barely able to operate at the way it has been for years under the current fundings it receives. If the district does not receive additional funds, many programs and staff members will have to be reconsidered. As the costs of demands and needs raise, our funds don't. That's why I think Soroco fundings should be increased.

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sorocostudent 7 years, 1 month ago

VOTE YES ON 3B Our school needs this heating system. I realize that this maybe should have come before things such as the new gym but that wasn't a decision made by the student. This isn't a matter of what we should have done in the past but what we need to do now, in the present.

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sorocostudent 7 years, 1 month ago

Vote Yes on 3B!

How can you punish us children and students by looking into the past of bad administrative choices? You're always saying we are the future but you look into the past. If we change things now to give us students a better heating system and a healthier environment to study, practice sports, and learn in it could change the course of where our school is going. If you don't vote yes on 3B you will not only affect us students, but the future of education for everyone now and later. If you expect us to look up to you then you should notice the very thing that could build us up. Please Vote Yes!!!

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itscoldinhere 7 years, 1 month ago

The heater( old boiler that never works) need to be replaced. last year the old junk boiler did not work for about a week. We (the kids) etheir got so cold we had to go home or stuffed our coats with old news papers, or work sheets like the homeless of denver. Yes we had a grant for this earlyer but our elementary school was over crowding, the new comons area+gym were needed too as the comons was a relief to the old cafateria. The new system we will get if you the voter says yes, will be more energy and cost efficient, it works also as an AC unit.

Please vote yes on 3B...before we get miners cough or the black lung

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Butterflylove 7 years, 1 month ago

Vote yes on 3B for the kids and the teachers, who come to the school every school day to give us the education. The cool system now is causing us to miss school. If we get the new heating system you'll be thinking of us students who deserve an education and a warm safe environment. You say were the feature but if we don't get the new heating system who will be the feature and who will be the one in a cold school trying to get an education we deserve? So think about the kids and teachers and vote yes on 3B.

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super_crazy_5000 7 years, 1 month ago

VOTE FOR 3B!!!! As a student of Soroco high, I speak for many when I say It's cold in here. Our school may have spent our 8.9 million bond on a new school wing, but is that my fault?Is it my fault that we have a heating system that is from the 30's that runs on coal? I don't think that the students should have to pay for........................ sorry I just had to cough up some coal. Anywho, vote for 3B for the students sake.

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BigMoney 7 years, 1 month ago

The heating system in SOROCO high and middel school is dirty and Inefficient. It breaks down alot and when it is working it spreads coal dust around the whole school. So vote yes on 3b so we can have a safe healthy school enviroment.

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EwwwitsGaryBussey 7 years, 1 month ago

Well as a Soroco High School Student I think you should vote yes on 3A and 3B. Even if the Soroco Staff spent our tax money on the new gym, when we needed to get a new heating system. Why should the kids have to suffer for there mistakes? Last year when our heaters broke down we had to class with our heavy coats on and still be cold. Our Heating system that we now is inefficient. Also its is they dirtiest Heating System probably Invented. We play Basketball in one of the gyms and all the coal puts so much dirt around the school that when you play your hands turn almost pure black. Also it could be the cause for some medical problems. So why should the kids suffer if we could have voted we would have voted for the new heating system instead of the gym. But its not our fault so dont make us suffer for bad mistakes that the school faculaty made. We have a great school faculty but everyone deserves a second chance what if it was your kids who were suffering would you vote yes then? Yes you would so think of us as your kids. I wouldn't let you suffer so dont let me and all of my friends. Do the right thing and vote yes on 3A and 3B

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happy_was_here 7 years, 1 month ago

Vote yes on 3a and 3b! I am a student at Soroco high school and I am generally annoyed at the fact that people would cheap out on children like this! The entire area around the boiler room smells like coal and it is like trying to breathe through a pillow. I am a generally healthy person and I intend to stay that way. How could anyone be shallow enough to doubt the fact that the money wouldnt go to the boiler? We are the future and we cant have bad lungs so please donate some money!! I have to wear a heavy jacket in school every day!!

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wesbackflip 7 years, 1 month ago

Vote yes on 3a. I am a resident here at Soroco High School, and I think that these extra activities are highly needed. It is a very small community, and we don't have much to do. That is why we need sports. Without sports all we would do is get in trouble and do absolutely nothing. Just a small tax for our hapiness and hopefully, a better future. This would mean so much to us. Please, for us, vote yes on 3a.

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rambballer 7 years, 1 month ago

I think that referendum 3B is a great thing to vote on. It will replace my schools heating system because the current heating for my school is really old and they are coal boilers. The bad thing about coal boilers is that it is unhealthy for the students because they make the air dirty and leave coal particles everywhere. Another reason why 3B is a good idea is because they break down a lot and it cost us a lot of money to fix them. So please VOTE YES ON 3B!

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awsome_guitar_girl 7 years, 1 month ago

I think that 3B is a good idea for Soroco because it makes us (the students) sick whenever they turn on the boilers due to the coal dust and smoke. We have black desks, unhealthy air, and an unclean environment. If we can get the new underground heating system, all of that would change. Please vote for 3B.

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awsome_freak 7 years, 1 month ago

I am a student at SoRoCo high. I say vote yes to 3B. Our school is suffering from our old heating system. Coal dust is flowing through the air vents into the class rooms and hallways. If the school heating system stops it would get really cold and students wouldn't want to go to school. We would most likely freeze to death without a heater. I only know this because I've live here all my life so far, it's getting colder and colder every year. We'll be so grateful if you vote yes to 3B.

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Stiakalot 7 years, 1 month ago

Beentheredonethat and JQPUBLIC what do you have against Soroco. You're probably from Steamboat. Well Soroco Supports Steamboat a lot. Soroco just needs some money so they're kids could be warm throughout the winter. Steamboat Schools get a ton of money each year. They bought a bran new 2.3 million dollar football field that they didn't really need. Well Soroco needs a new boiler system.

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josh430hpl 7 years, 1 month ago

I am a student at sirocco high I would vote yes on 3b be cuss we need a new boiler system be cuss it blows coal dust all over the school which is hard on yore lungs and hard to keep the gem clean.

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SorocoQueen 7 years, 1 month ago

I am a freshman at Soroco High School and I think that it is important that people vote yes for 3B. I believe that getting a new heating system is very important because during the winter it gets very cold and the reason for that is because we have such and old heating system that it breaks down very often and it takes a while to get them fixed. Some of the parts that we need have to be hand made and that costs the school a lot of money. By some of the other blog's that I read I can see that some people think that we might not use the money for the heating system like we did the first time and we used the money to build on the commons and the new gym. I agree that we should have put the money towards the heating system, but I also think that we needed to build a new gym because we have so many practices going on at the same time and have no room to practice. So I think that those of you that want to vote no should rethink your decision and think about the affects that it will have on us students. So just think about it do what is best for us because we are the future you know!

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BIGbear 7 years, 1 month ago

I am a student at Soroco High and let me tell you that the boilers are nasty! They are constantly breaking and filling are school with smog even on when they do work. They smell awful and almost always leave ash all over the school. So before you say we are "manipulating the tax payers" tell me that smog filled air and carpets laced with ash are healthy conditions.

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srcokid 7 years, 1 month ago

As a student of the Soroco schools I know first hand what it is like to have to breathe in coal while the heaters are turned on. I think that raising taxes to get money for a new heating system would be great. It's not our fault that we don't get money for every purchase somebody makes in a store from steamboat. I mean we shop there too. If we don't get a new heating system we will have to continue to breathe in coal. Would you want your kid to inhale coal as a result of being cold? Why not just give them a chunk of coal to gnaw on every time they are cold? This is what we breathe in just to stay warm if we do not get a new heating system. If you were to walk into our school and saw coal dusted floors of gyms and desks laced with coal particles what would you think? Would you want to send your kid to a school like that? No, and we don't want to have to breathe this in just because you can't get over the fact that we got new stuff first. After all you are the ones saying we are the future but you can't let go of the past long enough to give us a chance for a new system. So as a Soroco student I am asking you with best of intentions to please vote yes on referendum 3B and help us get a new heating system and a healthier school.

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Mkhassig 7 years, 1 month ago

As a student from Soroco High School, I ask please vote yes on 3a! Every year we lose a lot of money from decrease of students which isn't really fare to the rest of us still here and without 3a we could lose some of our extracurricular activities like band, choir, sports and some other things that depend on us having a good education. We don't have near as many sports and extracurricular activities as we use to so we would like to keep the few ones we do have. Things we have lost due to lack of money are Home-ec, Germen, Baseball and a few other things but the first two that I named are things that helped our educations. With 3a we might be able to get some of these things back. Please vote yes on 3a for us! If you don't vote yes you are just going to be hurting your Child's education.

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David_str8 7 years, 1 month ago

The poor kids at the soroco high school have to breath in dirty coal dust air. we need to vote yes on 3B and get some better heat. Think of the children, vote yes.

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playas27 7 years, 1 month ago

Me being a Soroco High student I think that voting yes on raising taxes to get a better heating system sounds great. Being in the school when the boilers aren't working properly smells really bad! Voting yes to referendum 3B will raise the money Soroco High School needs to get a new heating system. If this doesn't pass our school will lose a lot of money because it will be going to the old boilers. This will cause students in the school to lose classes that don't seem as important. Transportation to do sports will be cut because the lack of money. The boilers produce coal dust that contaminates the air. Students in the school are the ones breathing in the coal dust and have to deal with the coal dust all over the desks and gym floors. How many people want their kids breathing in that dust just to stay warm? I know I don't like breathing it in during school! So vote yes to referendum 3B!

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zywicki 7 years, 1 month ago

I think everybody should vote for both 3A and 3B because Soroco really needs this. If you vote for both, you will be helping the school and your kids. Without 3A and 3B are school will not have enough money to fix are heating system. We need a new heating system because this one has been in are school for 34 years ans it hardly works.

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SorocoQueen 7 years, 1 month ago

The students in Soroco middle and high school are complaining about the boiler system because the boiler system is so old if the boiler brakes down they have to get the parts custom made for it. When it brakes the Cole dust gets every where and is very hard to clean up. I should know cense I have one in my house.

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Austinffa 7 years, 1 month ago

I think that the new heating system in our school should be passed because if the Boiler goes out agein we won't freeze. The second thing is that the coal system gives off a black dust and can give a student black lung. And the new heating will be a lot cheaper and even will be good for the environment. thank you for votting yes on three-A and three-B.

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Baileycinch 7 years, 1 month ago

Personally, I think that the children are handling the situation more grown up then the adults are. I mean lets face it, the adults don't have to go into a place with run down books, old written on desks, or coal dust for that matter, just so they can have the chance at a good education!! For crying out loud, these are young children we are talking about here, don't let the past administrations blind you from the truth! Your kid may be at risk! The future depends on them, do the right thing and vote yes. We all depend on it! Thank you for voting for 3A & 3B.

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SorocoQueen 7 years, 1 month ago

haha yes we won and are now getting a new heating system we won yeah yeah!!!!! woohoo we will be warm during the friged winters thank you for voting yes on 3a&3b we appreciate it!!!!!!!

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