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West Valley School tech levy passes by one vote after recount

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | May 21, 2024 12:00 AM

A West Valley School technology levy passed by one vote following a recount held during a school board meeting Friday. 

The 10-year, $83,000 technology levy was approved 961 to 960. Following the recount, the school board canvassed and certified the results.

Initially, ballots (including resolved provisional ballots) from the May 7 election that the school board canvassed and certified on May 13 showed a tie (960-960), requiring a recount, according to West Valley Business Manager and Clerk Mark Fessler.

With the passage of the technology levy, owners of homes valued at $300,000 can anticipate an annual tax increase of $15.60. Owners of homes valued at $600,000 can expect an increase of $31.21.

West Valley voters also approved a $347,000 general fund levy 978 to 944. This means an annual tax increase of $65.24 on a home valued at $300,000 and around $130.48 on a $600,000 home.

The general fund levy will go toward retaining teachers and paraprofessional positions to maintain smaller class sizes and provide individualized instruction for struggling students. 

The district also plans to use funding to cover deferred maintenance on the building. 

This is the first time levies have passed in the school district since 2007.

“We are immensely grateful to our community for their support in the levy elections, especially during a time of unprecedented rising costs in our area. It clearly showcases a mutual commitment to invest in the education of our students,” Interim West Valley Superintendent Richard Gross said.

“This outcome empowers us to ensure that West Valley students will have the resources needed to thrive and excel. We believe that great schools are the cornerstone of great communities. By investing in our educational institutions, we not only enhance the learning experiences of our students, but also contribute to the overall vitality and resilience of West Valley and the greater Flathead Valley,” he said.

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