TWIN FALLS — May is shaping up to be a quiet election for Magic Valley school districts.
Only two — Minidoka County and Hagerman — are pursuing a ballot measure. Monday was the deadline for school districts to provide their county clerk with wording for a levy or bond for the May 21 election. School districts have four election dates to choose from each year.
After voters rejected a $21 million bond for facility projects in March, the Minidoka County School District is trying again in May with the same measure. And the Hagerman School District is seeking renewal of a supplemental levy, but is seeking more money.
A bond requires a two-thirds supermajority vote to pass, while a supplemental levy — used to help pay for basic school district operating expenses — requires only a simple majority vote.
Here’s an overview of what will be on ballots:
Minidoka County: $21 million bond
Even though 61.8 percent of voters said “yes” in March to the Minidoka County School District’s bond, it wasn’t enough to clear the required two-thirds supermajority.
The bond would have paid for projects such as front entrance school security upgrades, new classrooms at four schools, a new agriculture facility, a second gymnasium at Heyburn Elementary School, replacing heating and air conditioning systems, and projects at Minico High School such as a new gym floor, concessions and restrooms at the softball and tennis facilities, and upgrading career and technical education spaces.
“We heard a lot of feedback after the bond failed that people thought the bond was going to pass anyway so there was no need for them to go out and vote,” Superintendent Ken Cox told the Times-News on Thursday.
The Minidoka County School District has $20 million in existing bonds that will be completely paid off in 2029, Cox said. The proposed new bond will increase property taxes $25 per year on a home assessed at $100,000 with a homeowner’s exemption.
Hagerman: Two-year, $200,000 annual supplemental levy
It’s a renewal of an existing supplemental levy, but the school district is asking for more money — $200,000 each year, compared with $150,000 that’s in place now.
The increase will be used to make up for reduced state and federal funding, Superintendent Mark Kress wrote in an email to the Times-News.
If the supplemental levy renewal passes, property owners with a home valued at $250,000 with a homeowner exemption can expect to pay approximately $13.13 per month for the levy. That’s up from $11.88 per month in 2017.
Reporter Laurie Welch contributed to this story.