School and emergency services requests on ballot

Ballots were sent out on Wednesday for Special Election on Feb. 14, but not everyone votes

Many area voters will be asked to make decisions about schools and emergency services in the upcoming Special Election Feb. 14. Ballots were sent out on Wednesday.

Not every voter in Grays Harbor County will receive a ballot, however, because these measures don’t affect every area of the county. Some districts spread over more than one community and even counties.

For example, the Ocosta School District is asking residents it serves in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties to pay more than $8.5 million over six years for an array of needs.

The district placed its next maintenance and operations levy along with a capital improvements levy on the ballot and has broken its request into two propositions:

Ocosta School District No. 172, Proposition No. 1, is a replacement maintenance and operations levy. This proposition would authorize the district to levy excess taxes — in place of an expiring levy — on all taxable property within the district to support general fund educational maintenance and operations expenses. Collection of the levy would be in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The estimated amount of $2 million each year would be assessed at $2.75 per $1,000 property value for a total of $6 million at the end of the levy. This funding would support more than 20 percent of the district’s operations.

Ocosta School District No. 172, Proposition No. 2, is a capital levy for improvements. This proposition would authorize the district to levy excess taxes to make health, safety and energy efficiency improvements, including installing new roofs on the junior-senior high school and its elementary addition as well as improving the grandstand and surrounding area. This six-year levy begins in 2018 and ends in 2023. The annual goal is $425,000 based on an assessment of 58 cents per $1,000 in assessed value. The total six-year levy would be $2.55 million.

Here are other proposals that will be presented to voters in various communities around Grays Harbor County during the Special Election:

City of Montesano, Proposition No. 1, is a levy for fire safety and emergency services.This proposition would increase the city’s regular property tax levy to a total authorized rate up to $3.73 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That would be an estimated increase of 95 cents per $1,000 assessement over the 2017 levy. The 2017 levy amount would be used to recalculate subsequent levy limits for up to nine years and collection would begin in 2018.

Cosmopolis School District No. 99, Proposition No. 1, calls for dissolution and reappointment of directors’ districts. This proposition would authorize the district to dissolve its five existing directors’ districts and reapportion the district into three director districts. Each would have an elected representative, and two directors elected at-large. The idea is to better facilitate citizen participation as board members.

Fire District 7, Proposition No. 1 (2017), focuses on emergency medical care and ambulance service. Proposal for a tax levy of $85,000, approximately 59 cents per $1,000 of 2017 assessed valuation, in addition to its regular levy to be collected for emergency medical care and ambulance service to its citizens in 2018. The district is based in Ocean City.

Fire District 10, Proposition No. 1, is an Emergency Medical Services 10-Year regular levy. This request to levy a regular property tax of 50 cents per $1,000.00 of assessed valuation begins in 2017. It would to be collected for 10 years beginning in 2018 to provide emergency medical services. The district is based in Wishkah.

Fire Protection District, Mason County No. 12, requests a property tax levy lid lift. This proposition establishes its regular property tax levy for fire department maintenance and operations to an amount not to exceed $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to be levied in 2017 for collection in 2018. The maximum allowable levy in 2017 shall serve as the base for computing subsequent levy limitations. A portion of this district is in Grays Harbor County. One of the fire stations is in Elma.