Submitted by Lopez School District
On Aug. 3, 2021, Lopez Island residents will be voting on a proposed Capital Projects Levy presented by the Lopez Island School District (LISD). Several factors have prompted the proposed levy. Legislation passed in 2017, and minimal state and federal funding for critical infrastructure have limited LISD’s ability to collect levies for the general fund and operations. Absent a successful levy, preventative maintenance and necessary repairs must be paid from the general fund balance. These costs reduce the funding available for instructional programs.
The levy proposed on the Aug. 3 ballot will generate funds for specific projects deemed necessary and appropriate to maintain the district’s infrastructure. The central focus of the levy proceeds will be to fund a water project that will shift the school’s water system to new and more reliable multi-well sources while providing for more efficient and reliable water system operation. This upgrade is critical for both daily system use and reliable water sources for emergency operations such as the fire suppression system in the school.
LISD expects the measure to raise approximately $139,000 per year over five (5) years and generate a total of $695,000. The estimated annual tax rate per $1,000 assessed valuation for property owners will range from a high of 9.2 cents in 2022 to a low of 8.5 cents in 2026, the final year of the levy. This rate amounts to approximately $36 per year for property with an assessed value of $400,000.
Wendy Stephenson, an LISD board member, said, “Creating this new well system and generating funds to maintain our current infrastructure will allow us to avoid more costly major overhauls and repairs,” board member Chris Greacen spoke about the reasons for the water project, saying, “This project will allow the school to draw water from three wells in the neighborhood, reducing the mineral content and vastly increasing water reliability.”