The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Vote no on school bond issue


January 23, 2020

Vote no on school bond issue

To The Eagle:

After reading the very informative article about the needed repairs to our school in last week’s Eagle I had only one thought: How much was this going to cost me? The article cleverly never mentioned the cost to the taxpayer but it did mention that repairs would run about $35,000,000, which, to me, seemed high. In fact I just learned that Elon Musk’s new 600 acre Tesla factory in Germany will run about $45,000,000. So one can see the absurdity of their initial bid for repairs. I have also learned that our high school has just 173 students. This means that those proposed repairs will cost $212,312 per student!

In fact the bond will cost each and every Wahkiakum County taxpayer $3.37 per $1,000 of assessed value of their home and property. That means if your property is assessed for $100,000 you will pay an additional $337.00 per year, if $200,000 you will pay $674.00 more per year and if it’s $300,000 you will pay $1011 more and so on. And you will be charged these amounts for 22 years meaning that the person with a $300,000 property will pony up an extra $22,242 over and above their regular property taxes over those 22 years!

In my case the $29.00 monthly increase I got this year in my Social Security will be completely offset and then some, by this bond.

I have learned that average costs for building a brand new school would run $250 to $300 per square foot. That is for a new school not just repairs. Our main school building is 35,000 sq ft, which, if built from scratch would cost right around $10,000,000, not the 65-70 million that the article cited.

This bond issue must be defeated because the math for taxpayers and the math for the school does not add up. The school board must go back to the drawing board and develop a plan that is fiscally responsible and reflective of real world costs.

In closing I would like to add that inflation over the last 30 years stands at just 2.28 percent not 5.5 percent as stated in the article. So, even a small wait to get a realistic plan together will not cost much.

Vote no on the school bond issue!

Eric Skemp

Puget Island


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