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Ballots mailed out for May school elections

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | April 16, 2023 12:00 AM

Schools holding mail ballot elections have until Monday to send out ballots to active, registered voters. Ballots are due in respective districts by 8 p.m. May 2, election day.

In addition to trustee elections, voters in Kalispell, West Valley, Cayuse Prairie and Whitefish school districts will find general levy requests on their ballots. Olney-Bissell School is seeking approval of a 15-year building reserve levy.

Money raised by general fund levies is used to cover a broad range of costs related to the day-to-day operations of schools and the education of students such as salaries and benefits, curriculum and supplies, utilities, technology and maintenance.

Kalispell Public Schools is running general fund levies for both its elementary and high school districts.

The high school general fund levy request is for $2,490,973. Taxpayers living in the high school district, which includes Kalispell and 13 outlying partner districts whose students attend Flathead and Glacier High Schools, get to vote on this issue. 2007 marked the last time a high school levy of any type passed in the high school district. If approved, owners of homes with assessed values of $300,000 may see annual taxes increase by about $60.90.

The elementary general fund levy request is for $354,327. Only Kalispell taxpayers may vote on this issue. If approved, owners of homes with assessed values of $300,000 can expect annual taxes to increase by $20.11.

West Valley is running a $300,000 general fund levy. If approved, owners of homes with assessed values of $300,000, should see annual taxes increase by about $81.42.

Cayuse Prairie School has also requested a general fund levy in the amount of $300,000. According to the Superintendent and Principal Amy Piazzola, the district hasn’t asked for a general fund levy since 2005. If approved, owners of homes with assessed values of $300,000 can expect annual taxes to increase by $161.64.

Whitefish School District is running a $231,766 elementary general fund levy. If approved, owners of homes with assessed values of $300,000 can expect annual taxes to increase by $10.23.

Olney-Bissell’s building reserve levy request is in the amount of $53,053 per year for 15 years — a total of approximately $795,795. Money raised by the levy would be used to fund improvement projects including: installing a new septic system, replacing the existing school building roof cover and excavation work to set up a modular building.

The modular building would be bought with existing funds. Any remaining funding would be used to replace exterior doors on the school and repair fencing.

If approved, owners of homes with an assessed value of $300,000 could see annual taxes increase by $52.65.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com