Understanding the Ballot: Moffat County School District Obligation

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Moffat County High School.
Cuyler Meade / Craig Press

In just over three weeks, residents of Moffat County will vote in this fall’s election. Among the choices of future city council and school board members is a voting initiative that will determine the future of infrastructure in buildings in the Moffat County School District.

Initiative 4A, a compulsory education that will trigger matching funds from a state grant, would increase property taxes for county residents to fund capital improvements for each of the buildings in the district.

What are the matching funds?

If passed, the link will receive funding from the Colorado Department of Education’s Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant, for a total of $ 6.48 million. If the deposit does not pass, MCSD will not receive this money from the state. Since 2008, BEST has awarded approximately $ 2.5 billion in grants to more than 525 Colorado schools. BEST money comes from Colorado State Land Board, Colorado Lottery, Marijuana Excise Tax, and local matching dollars (in the form of property taxes, in the case of the 4A initiative). ).



The school district has also received funding from the federal government to cover costs related to COVID-19. $ 1.1 million has been received from the federal government so far and an additional $ 4 million to come over the next three fiscal years. This money cannot be used for capital expenses, which means that this money cannot be used for making improvements to buildings. Federal COVID-19 money is to be used for resources such as payroll, cleaning and testing supplies, resources for learning loss, social and emotional health, and other similar educational needs.

BEST grant money, on the other hand, is to be used for construction costs and requires local matching funds to be received by a school district.



Where does the taxpayer’s money go?

According to the school district, a total of $ 45 million (which includes the $ 6.48 million grant) would be spent on building improvements, if the bond measure were passed. This money is distributed throughout the district, but not necessarily equally, as some buildings need more upgrades than others.

The price of $ 45 million has been reduced from a previous needs assessment total of approximately $ 100 million to now include only improvements that the MCSD deemed essential. The company that accessed the potential costs was based in Northwest Colorado and had already taken into account that many projects might not start until 2022 or later, taking into account the potential cost increases due to inflation or other escalations.

Many of these projects include new roofs in some schools, replacing outdated plumbing in others, updating electrical systems, and more.

District-wide upgrades include updating fire and security systems, replacing exterior doors, new asphalt and concrete, and new interior finishes.

How much money does my child’s school receive? What are they improving there?

It depends on where your child goes to school.

The largest percentage of the $ 45 million bond would go to Moffat County High School. MCHS will receive just over $ 21 million, with most of that money being used for electrical / mechanical upgrades and upgrades to the football stadium to bring it up to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. .

Public schools like the MCSD are covered by Title II of the ADA which covers “public entities”. Title II specifies that public entities must provide access to programs in an integrated framework, unless separate programs are needed to guarantee equal benefits or services. Access to programs under Title II means that school districts are required to manage their programs in such a way that they are usable by people with disabilities. This applies to all existing installations in public entities.

As indicated by the school district, the specific projects that go towards the stadium are verbatim:

  • ADA compliant access to the stadium
  • ADA compliant bleachers and press box
  • Asbestos removal in press box
  • Repair the walkways around the site that show significant cracks and uplifts
  • Repair the track, which is on the verge of not meeting safety standards for the track meets
  • Repair the field, which has lifted significantly over time and has a sizable crown.

The second highest amount goes to Sunset Elementary, which will receive $ 6.28 million. The biggest project at Sunset will also be electrical / mechanical upgrades, which will cost $ 1.3 million.

The Early Childhood Center would receive $ 5.2 million. Of this total, $ 1.62 million will be used to update or replace security and safety at CEC, which also houses district offices for administrators. Almost another million will go to electrical / mechanical upgrades.

Sandrock Elementary will receive just over $ 4 million. Almost 25% of this amount will go to electrical / mechanical improvements. The safety and security and ADA enhancements will also each account for over $ 700,000 of Sandrock’s total.

Craig Middle School expects to receive $ 2.49 million for improvements to its building. Most of that – just over $ 685,000 – is for safety and security. The flooring will cost almost $ 400,000, and the electrical / mechanical costs and asphalt will each cost around $ 300,000.

Ridgeview Elementary will get $ 2.3 million if 4A is passed. Over $ 600,000 of this total is expected to be spent on ADA enhancements, followed by $ 378,000 for safety and security.

Maybell Elementary – the smallest school in the district – receives the least. Their biggest project to potentially receive funds from the 4A initiative is the improvement of electrical / mechanical systems. This will receive approximately 21% of the school’s $ 550,000 estimate.

Find the exact estimates for each school and each project here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ZuRcUJxts48KpblXZBFf8qe622BJUxnB.

Doesn’t the school have a reserve?

Yes, but that money is not meant to be spent on so many capital improvements, especially at one point.

The school district starts the year with about $ 7 million in the bank and uses these reserves to fund operations until property tax revenue arrives. MCSD receives funds from property taxes – which make up about half of the school district’s revenue – between March and June at the end of the school year.

How much will I pay?

It depends on the value of your property.

Currently, the Moffat County School District samples 31,826 mills. If your house is worth $ 200,000, multiply it by 0.0715, the residential property assessment rate, which equals 14,300. Then multiply 14,300 by the mill (which, for now, is 31.826) for get 455 111.8. Divide that by 1,000 and you will get $ 455.11, which someone is currently paying to school in property taxes if they own a house worth $ 200,000.

Using the same calculations, under the new mill, which would raise the current level by about 7.4 mills, the owner of a home with a real value of $ 200,000 would pay an additional $ 105.82 per year, for a total of about $ 560 per year at school. district. This means that a Craig resident owning a home with an actual value of $ 200,000 would increase their annual property taxes paid to all tax entities in which the home is located from $ 1,186 per year to around $ 1,291 per year.

The appraisal of commercial properties is done at a much higher rate. Property taxes for business owners would increase much more.


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