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Polson's school-election ballots coming in mail

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POLSON – During the Polson Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon last Wednesday afternoon, Polson School District Superintendent Rex Weltz spoke to members about the upcoming bond questions that will be appearing on a special mail-in election ballot – scheduled for Dec. 3.

“We are asking the community to help us with three especially important areas within our high school and elementary districts,” said Weltz. “Safety, health and security are our biggest needs.”

Weltz explained to the crowd that the aging district buildings were constructed years ago. Linderman was built in 1948, Cherry Valley constructed in 1963, Polson High School was constructed in 1972 and the Polson Middle School was constructed in 1991. They all have infrastructure, roof, heating, ventilation and air conditioning issues that need to be addressed. 

The problems contribute to energy inefficiencies, cause safety issues and create an uncomfortable learning environment for both the students and teachers.

“I never had the notion that when I first started teaching that I would stand in front of a group of people and worry about how to keep individuals out of our buildings, so they don’t hurt kids,” said Weltz. “Our buildings were never built for that premise.”

The proposed bond measures will address additional safety improvements and requirements throughout the district, including upgrading the inadequate 20th-century intercom and emergency alarm systems. Discussing the academic needs of the district, Weltz said a passed bond initiative would provide an upgraded educational environment and new additional classroom space at both Linderman and Cherry Valley elementary schools. The plan also includes a new science, technology, engineering, art and math center as well as culinary arts and vocational education spaces at the high school.

A large portion of the high school bond will fund a 3,500-seat community center, which will provide space for community events, such as concerts and art fairs. “If we bring people to the community, they will be here and shop,” Weltz said. “A multipurpose event center is an economic stimulus for our community. It will be an economic generator for the City of Polson.”  

Eligible registered voters in the Polson School District should start receiving mailed ballots for the Dec. 3 special school-bond election this week. Completed ballots can be dropped in the mail or taken to the County Election Administrator’s Office on Nov. 14 through Dec. 2 or on election day, Dec. 3, at the County Election Administrator’s Office, room 121 of the Lake County Courthouse, located at 106 4th Ave. E.

If both proposed measures are passed, district property owners would see an approximated increase in tax of $309.84 annually to a home assessed at $200,000 for the 25-year length of the bond. According to the district information, the figure breaks down to less than $26 a month on average. District officials also ask residents who have any questions or require further information to contact them at bondinfo@polson.k12.mt.us or to call 406-883-6355.

A video created by the Valley Journal features Weltz speaking about the bond issue and can be found at www.valleyjournal.net. 

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