If taxpayers agree to pay $47M for Sultan shools, state will add $10M

SULTAN — Voters here are deciding whether to approve a proposed tax hike on the Feb. 9 ballot that would pay for school improvements.

The Sultan School District is asking taxpayers to agree to a $47.7 million bond. If passed, the measure is estimated to bring in another $10.7 million from a state construction match.

The 25-year bond would raise the tax rate in 2017 from about 27 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value to $2.40. The bond will cost $490 for the owner of a $230,000 home.

The district wants to use about $58.4 million from the proposed bond and match to update four schools and construct a new staff building. A 60 percent supermajority is required for the measure to pass.

Superintendent Dan Chaplik said the estimated amount of state match money is about $2 million more than the figure listed on information the district mailed to voters last week. The published amount was calculated using inaccurate square footage of a vocational building, he said.

The state determines how much money to pitch in on bond projects based on several factors, such as the size of the instructional space and student count.

Sultan voters last passed a bond in 1998 to pay for capital improvements that were not covered by operating budgets and levy money. A four-year maintenance and operations levy was approved in 2014 to help cover the cost of running schools.

Some of the district’s past bonds were paid off or refinanced between 2000 and 2008, which lowered the tax rate during the past 16 years to 27 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, from $2.17. The three remaining bonds are to expire in 2017.

Chaplik said the district waited to ask for more money to give taxpayers a break during the recession.

“We were trying to be mindful because the economy was down,” he said.

Last year, a group of about 30 residents and staff looked into the needs at Sultan’s crowded schools and decided which improvements were most needed to serve the district’s 2,000 students.

Sultan High was built in 1987 for 325 students. Now, it has one science lab for about 560 students.

The proposed bond would provide about $32.4 million to expand the welding shop and put in eight new classrooms, including four labs. It would also bring in money to build a new gym and a performing arts center, expand the music room and upgrade security. The school’s track and synthetic-turf field would also be improved.

If approved, the bond would also provide about $6.1 million to construct a new building to house the district office, the technology center, maintenance and buses next to Sultan Middle School.

The middle school is slated to get almost $3.3 million for improvements, including modernized classrooms and replacing the roof and gym floor. Also to replace roofs, the district’s elementary schools in Sultan and Gold Bar are to receive about $3.8 and $2.2 million, respectively.

Amy Nile: 425-339-3192; anile@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @AmyNileReports

Talk to us

More in Local News

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
1 dead, 1 in hospital after 3-vehicle crash on Highway 9

A concrete pumping truck and two sedans crashed Monday afternoon, closing the highway near Bickford Avenue.

Moses Malachi Brewer appears in court for sentencing Friday, March 24, 2023, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Man sentenced to 18 years for 2019 shooting in Everett

Moses Brewer, 23, shot four people in an Everett apartment, which left one victim paralyzed on his right side.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
Health care spending continues to outpace inflation, driven by prices

Can state efforts curb 6.7% growth per year in overall health care spending?

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A buffet of budgets, a bunch of whales and a request for your miles

It’s Day 78. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

A Sounder gray whale. (Cascadia Research)
Don’t be flummoxed: Help is needed to name 5 Puget Sound gray whales

The voting poll on the Sounders, as these whales are called, is until Sunday for the grays dining in our waters.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Police investigating cause of fatal 3-vehicle crash on Highway 9

The man, 61, crossed the center line in Snohomish on Monday and crashed into the truck, the sheriff’s office said.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Jay’s bond, REET in reserve and Blake fix gets twisted

It’s Day 80. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

Public Works director Kelly Snyder. (Snohomish County)
Ex-staffer who alleged bias by county Public Works director gets $97K

Amy Powell alleged Director Kelly Snyder created an abusive work environment that made her “uncomfortable and physically unwell.”

Richard Rotter listens to witness testimony in his trial at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett, Washington on Monday, March 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
As prosecution rests, jury hears jail call after Everett cop killing

“Try to put a wild cat inside a cage? … See what happens,” said Richard Rotter, accused of killing officer Dan Rocha.

Most Read