Written by Kelly Kaczala
Sunday, 12 October 2008 09:33
On November 4, voters will consider renewal of a 2-mill permanent improvement levy for the Oregon City Schools District.
Voters first passed the levy in 1968, and have continued to support it since.
A permanent improvement levy can only fund capital improvement projects such as parking lots, major repairs to facilities and major equipment purchases rather than extensive renovation projects and new construction. It is not used for operational expenses or salaries.
"The levy has been vital to keeping the district’s buildings maintained, operational, and safe for the students," said Jeff Ziviski, vice president of the school board.
"It is equally important moving forward to provide proper maintenance and repairs to the buildings. Through our building renovation project that was funded by the bond levy, we have been able to perform some updates and renovations to a majority of the buildings in our district, though it is important to note that approximately 80-85% of the buildings in the district are not new and still require regular maintenance and repairs to keep them safe and operating efficiently," said Ziviski.
Only Coy Elementary School and the addition to the front of Clay High School are new. They still require preventative maintenance to keep them operating efficiently, he added.
"Proper preventative maintenance helps to eliminate unplanned major repairs in the future. The board of education and the district administrators have been fiscally responsible with past permanent improvement funds approved by the voters," said Ziviski.
The levy will generate $1.25 million annually for five years. The passage of the levy will not increase property taxes.
"The permanent improvement levy provides resources for many student groups as well as helps with the basic maintenance of our buildings. A portion of these funds are used by the band to help with the purchase of such items as instruments and uniforms," said Ziviski. It is also used by the district's IT department to purchase computers for the classrooms and textbooks.
"The PI levy proceeds will also be used for planned maintenance and improvements to the district's buildings and equipment. Some of these items include maintenance and resurfacing parking lots that are in poor condition and in need of repair, replacements to aged roofs, and the purchase of new windows and blinds in some of the buildings to help control our utility costs," said Ziviski.
"It will also help repair our bus fleet to ensure they are in safe operating condition for the transportation of our students to and from school," he said.
"One of the items our Buildings, Grounds and Transportation Committee is looking into is finding a process that would allow the district to track each student when they are on the buses being transported to and from school. With the use of new software or a GPS system, the district would be able to locate a student at any time. This would be greatly beneficial, for instance, if a student got on the wrong bus or got off the bus at the wrong stop. District officials would be able to bring up the information on a computer specific to that child," he said.