Newberg and Dundee voters have begun receiving their ballots in the mail and among the more important items on the ballot — as far as community impact — involves the local school district and the future of its buildings.
Measure 36-205 proposes a $141 million school bond at an increased cost for taxpayers of 71 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. If the bond passes, the total projected rate for property owners would be $1.52 per $1,000, which includes the cost of previous bonds that will soon be retired.
The bond would fund massive overhauls to aging school buildings — including the replacement of Dundee Elementary School — while providing additional health and safety measures for the buildings and pumping funding into career and technical education (CTE) programs, among other projects.
The informational website, NewbergSchoolBond.org, was set up with the help of a local communications firm.
"We are working with Wright Communications, which is the highest regarded communications firm when it comes to school bonds," said district communications coordinator Gregg Koskela. "They are helping us with the process of getting information out to the community, and we contacted them to create this website for us. The website is one place where voters can go to get information on everything the bond will include."
The website features a handful of graphics, drop down information and breakdowns of how the bond would impact individual schools and the pockets of taxpayers. Koskela said he already has heard from people who have visited the page and learned more about what they're voting on.
"We're happy to have this out there and happy to have that information for people," Koskela said. "I've already had phone calls from folks asking various questions about the bond from something they saw on the website, so I think so far it is doing its job and keeping people informed.
"Our website has been up for a couple weeks now and we also did a mailing to all the voters in our district, with very similar information to what's on our website. As they receive their ballots, they'll have that information there to vote on our bond."
The Voters' Pamphlet includes ample information on the bond, as well as those who endorse the proposal, but the website aims to be an accessible place for the community to figure out where its money would go.
Koskela lauded the positive impact of the bond and encouraged the community to do its research while deciding how to vote. The choice lies with the community this November whether the district will have more money to make what it views as necessary improvements.
"The purpose of what we're doing is to make sure people have the correct information they need to make a decision about how to vote on this measure," Koskela said. "If it does pass, we are really excited about all of the community involvement that has gone into its development, and we will be excited to put it into action for the betterment of our students and community."
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