Dixie to seek $450,000 school capital levy

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DIXIE — The Dixie School Board approved a resolution at a special meeting Tuesday night to put a six-year, $450,000 capital levy before voters this February.

The board also passed a measure to renew its $230,730 biannual maintenance and operations levy, which will also be put to a public vote this February.

The maintenance levy amount is unchanged from the last levy passed, however the capital levy would cost taxpayers an additional $1 per $1,000 of assessed home value annually over six years, the board estimated. If both levies pass, Dixie taxpayers would pay a total of $4.19 per $1,000 in property taxes to the school.

The capital levy would address a laundry list of repairs needed by Dixie School — a K-5 school, which has an enrollment currently of 28 — such as heating and insulation upgrades, resurfacing of the gymnasium floor and a variety of other needs.

Board President Gene Wilks said directors focused on what the school needed to function over aesthetic appeal when considering what needed to be overhauled.

“We wanted to focus on safety,” Wilks said. “The list was quite extensive on the things we could do, but we wanted to be more moderate.”

Superintendent Mark Wegner said the District would begin a campaign to pass the bond in January. Wegner said it was important to get the repairs done now because a catastrophic failure of the school’s heating system could lead to the school being closed and its students attending either Walla Walla or Waitsburg schools.

“It’s high time (to repair the school),” Wegner said. “Our school is our anchor.”

Wilks said the list of repairs the levy is to address may change over time as each problem is taken on.

Ben Wentz can be reached at benwentz@wwub.com or 526-8315.

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