Mount Pleasant voters approve levy

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Mount Pleasant School District officials are likely celebrating following the passage of a maintenance and operations levy.

As of Monday afternoon, the levy was passing 55 to 45 percent.

The two-year, $310,000 Mount Pleasant levy will be $3.85 per $1,000 of assessed property value in 2015 and $3.78 per $1,000 in 2016. For the owner of a $250,000 home, this averages to approximately $945 for the first year and $962 the second year.

In the past, the district relied mostly on federal forest funds, in addition to money received from the state. However, due to decreased timber sales and federal budget decreases, these funds have been significantly reduced over the years, leaving a shortfall in the budget.

This is the second time the levy has been proposed to the voters. It failed to pass in the May primary election.

“I am really pleased by the community support,” said Vicki Prendergast, superintendent. “I am thankful to all of the volunteers who spread the word about the levy. Everyone’s support made a difference in how it turned out.”

Karl Kanthak, school board president, voiced similar sentiments.

“I am very grateful that the Mount Pleasant residents recognized the value of supporting their own independent district,” he said. “We look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence at Mount Pleasant.”

If the levy had not passed, the Skamania County school would have become insolvent and students would attend the neighboring Washougal School District, as Washington law requires all properties to be part of an educational taxing district.

“I’m very excited and pleased that we can move forward and focus on other things now,” Prendergast said.

Currently, Mount Pleasant has 60 students and employs four full-time teachers in kindergarten through seventh-grade, a part-time principal/superintendent, office manager, a combined janitorial and bus driver position and a two part-time classroom aides.