Washougal School District to host open house on levy replacements Jan. 26

The Washougal School District will host an open house to discuss its levy replacement proposals from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, at the district office, 4855 Evergreen Way, Washougal.

The Washougal School Board voted during its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 22, to send the replacement levies to voters in the Feb. 14, 2023 Special Election. The levies would replace the current enhanced programs and operations (EPO) and capital projects and information technology levies, both of which were approved in 2020 are set to expire on Dec. 31, 2023.

“Patrons who have questions about the upcoming levy election can attend an informational meeting with district staff and get factual information to help them cast their ballot,” the district’s website states. “(Superintendent) Mary Templeton will present on the educational programs and operations levy and the capital levy, both of which are replacements, and provide details about what the levies fund, how much they will cost, and answer any questions.”

The proposed EPO levy rates for 2023-25 would be lower than the rates voters approved in 2020: $1.99 per $1,000 assessed property value (APV) in 2024, 2025 and 2026, down from $2.14 per $1,000 APV in 2021, 2022 and 2023. The levy is projected to collect $9.5 million in 2024, $10.5 million in 2025 and $11.5 million in 2026.

District leaders have recommended keeping the replacement capital facilities and technology levy rate at $0.21 in 2024 and increasing it to $0.84 in 2025 and to $0.85 in 2026, to help the district address several long-term maintenance and safety needs, including a new security door access systems; a new roof at Washougal High School; new boilers and control systems for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in the district’s older buildings; new flooring; and doors at main building entrances that will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.