Voter education will be key factor in bond effort

The general obligation capital bond currently being proposed by the Washougal School District is far from a minor endeavor.

During a special election on Feb. 10, 2015, voters will decide whether to support the $57.68 million request. If approved, it would fund some major projects including a new elementary school and new middle school, as well as a small high school to replace the building currently used by Excelsior High School students. The bond would also support construction of a new transportation facility, safety improvements at all seven of the district’s schools, as well as a series of other upgrades and repairs to existing schools.

If approved in February, the bond is projected to increase taxpayer rates by 52 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. For the owner of a $300,000 home, taxes would increase by approximately $156 per year.

It’s a massive undertaking that includes what at the outset appears to be many worthwhile projects.

In the end, however, it will be up to voters to decide.

Providing Washougal School District taxpayers with plenty of accurate, detailed information will be a major factor in convincing them this bond is necessary.

The district is starting this educational effort off right with an upcoming tour of several of its facilities. As detailed in today’s Post-Record, it will be held Friday, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For those who have reserved a spot, the tour will begin at the district office, 4855 Evergreen Way. The group will board a school bus and visit Jemtegaard Middle School, Excelsior High School and the Washougal School District Bus Barn.

District voters will want to learn as much as they can about this bond to make the most informed decision. The patron tour is a solid first step in that direction.