Measure 5-284

Measure 5-284 is a general obligation bond being presented to the voters on behalf of the Clatskanie School District (CSD).

I am a member of the local PAC (Political Action Committee) that has been created to support the VOTE YES campaign for this measure. One of the main points for a yes vote on the bond is not only that our schools need it badly, but that its passage will not increase the current property tax rate.

The reason for this is that the bond passed in 2000 for $10M cost the property taxpayer $0.91/$1,000 of assessed value. That bond will be paid off in June and the new $10M bond will also be $0.91/$1,000 of assessed value – NO INCREASE over what has been shown on your tax statement for the past 20 years. The State of Oregon has approved the CSD for a matching grant of $4M if the bond passes. CSD has also been told by the architects that because CMHS is an approved community gathering place during an earthquake event we are likely to qualify for a seismic upgrade grant of $2-$2.5M. Passing this bond is an EXCELLENT opportunity to obtain $16M-$16.5M worth of purchasing power for the cost of $10M.

Some of the improvements planned for these funds are:

HVAC - our HVAC systems in both school buildings are in grave need of upgrading. CMHS has experienced two major breaks in the system this past year resulting in flooding of the offices and/or classrooms beneath the breaks. While the clean-up is interruptive and time consuming, the biggest issue is that replacement parts for the archaic system are no longer obtainable.

• SECURITY - the entries at both schools need to be renovated to create secure entries and safety for our students and staff. As most of you know, persons entering CMHS through the main doors cannot be observed by office staff and there is a similar situation at CES. These areas will be redesigned so that anyone entering the buildings will be observed. An alarmed security system will also be put in place.

• ROOFS - both roofs need replacing, and the timing is right with HVAC equipment also being installed on the roofs.

• AUDITORIUM - lighting in the auditorium is also so archaic that it is impossible to get replacement parts. It will be brought up to modern standards for the use of the school as well as the community.

• DIVIDE CMHS - CMHS will be renovated to give a definite separation between the middle school and the high school providing distinct identities and appropriate learning environments for each. There will be collaborative meetings with the architects for staff, parents, students, and interested community members giving everyone an opportunity to weigh in on the design and what is most important to all stakeholders.

A big thank you to the local businesses that have contributed to and are supporting our PAC and the passage of this bond. They are Fultano’s, Evenson Logging, NEXT Energy, Global, Fins, Flowers & Fluff, Farmhouse Coffee and Colvin’s. We so appreciate you!

For more details, please read the mailer you received this past week and go to our PAC Facebook page, SUPPORT CLATSKANIE SCHOOLS and view the student produced video showing a visual of the numerous needs for our buildings and grounds.

Help us provide the students of Clatskanie and our community safe, secure, and appropriate school buildings and grounds and remember that strong schools equal a strong community. I encourage you to join me in VOTING YES on Measure 5-284!

Kathy Engel is a Support Our Schools PAC member. She may be reached at kathy.r.engel@gmail.com

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