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Rogue River SD eyes bond measure

School, backpack, educational.
Board will meet at 6 p.m. Aug. 16 in person and virtually to discuss whether a ballot measure should be put before voters this year

Rogue River School Board will vote on whether to call for a bond election this November.

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16, at 1898 E. Evans Creek Road, Rogue River. Anyone also can log onto the district’s website to attend the meeting virtually.

“If the board decides to put a bond on the November ballot measure, the district will prepare detailed materials and proposals to better inform the voting public how the bond money would be spent if it is passed,” Superintendent Patrick Lee wrote in his latest online newsletter to constituents.

He said the board would include a dollar amount for the bond and what projects it would cover.

Lee cited a recent survey of school district voters who reported they’d favor replacement and repair of “unsafe or inadequate” interior infrastructure; a “junior high wing” to the existing junior high school; and covered playground areas at the elementary schools. Other projects might include new locker rooms and an outdoor track.

Lee said that no matter how much the bond might be, the amount would be doubled thanks to the Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching program, for which the district has already been approved.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the voters of Rogue River to get more bang for their buck due to the OSCIM grant,” Lee wrote.

With grant dollars approved, the district would have two options. One would be a replacement bond, which would keep tax rates for property owners at the same level, and equal $7.06 million dollars, factoring in the matching grant.

“While we are still costing out all projects, this would likely mean only a few of the items would be addressed,” Lee wrote.

The second option would involve the district asking voters to increase their current property tax rate by a predicted rate of $8 dollars per $100,000 of assessed value. This would raise $8 million, taking the matching grant into account.

“The extra $1 million from this option would help the district address more of the items listed above,” Lee wrote.

In an emailed statement to the Mail Tribune, the superintendent expanded on why the board may decide a bond election is necessary this November. Lee said it was always a possibility there may be a second bond to replace the current one, which was passed five years ago and is sunsetting now.

“That bond was targeting HVAC upgrades and asbestos removal in the district,” Lee wrote. “Now that those projects are done and the bond is nearing its end, we are moving on to new projects to see if the voters will support them.”

The Rogue River School Board decision will come just a few weeks after the Eagle Point School District Board tabled a bond election for its voters this November, citing the current economy.

Reach reporter Kevin Opsahl at 541-776-4476 or kopsahl@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevJourno.