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Voters OK school bond, C’dale fire district tax hike

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Sopris Sun Staff Report

Voters overwhelmingly approved a $122 million bond issue for the Roaring Fork School District, and a 1.75-mill property tax for the Carbondale Fire District on Tuesday.

The school district and fire district drew strong support from citizen committees who worked to get the ballot questions approved.

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“I want to thank Tom Adgate and the citizens committee for all their hard work,” said Carbondale Fire District board member Gene Schilling. “We still have a lot of hard work to do over the next two years to develop a plan to bring back to the voters that will sustain the fire district over a longer term. I would also like to thank voters for their vote of confidence and anyone else who helped pass the mill levy.”

Roaring Fork School District Superintendent Diana Sirko told The Sopris Sun in an e-mail, “We sincerely thank our three communities for their incredible support of the bond election. We take our responsibilities to our taxpayers very seriously, and will work hard to use the dollars conscientiously to support high quality educational facilities for all of our students, now and into the future. We are also extremely excited to begin addressing the housing needs of our staff to attract and retain the best teachers to work with our students.”

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Passage of the school bond issue will result in a new K-8 school between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs at Eastbank, a complete overhaul and new construction at Glenwood Springs Elementary School, a new auditorium at Basalt High School, upgrades at Carbondale Middle School and Roaring Fork High School, plus other improvements (for specifics, visit The bonds will retire in 20 years. The tax increase amounts to $55 per $100,000 for residential property and $260 per $100,000 for commercial property.

The fire district tax hike will raise about $595,000 per year over the next two years, which will be used for operations and equipment upgrades. It will add about $70 per year on a $500,000 residence. The mill-levy increase expires (sunsets) in two years.

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According to unofficial results released by Garfield County Clerk and Recorder Jean Alberico, 57 percent of the voters in the RFSD boundaries cast their ballot for the school bond. In Eagle County, 65 percent were in favor while 57 percent were for the bond issue in Pitkin County.

On the fire district front, 64 percent voted yes and 36 percent voted no.

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Also in Tuesday’s election, RFSD board challenger Jennifer Rupert defeated incumbent Karl Hanlon 64-36 percent, according to unofficial results. The Old Snowmass resident snagged 81 percent in Pitkin County. She was aided by numerous letters-to-the-editor and a newspaper campaign.

Published in The Sopris Sun on November 5, 2015.

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