The Platte Canyon School Board held a special meeting Aug. 31 to determine if the district would authorize a ballot issue for a mill levy override.

Board members Katie Spodyak, Heather Prewitt and Frank VanDeHey were in attendance with Board member Amy Carman present via Zoom. Amy Carman was appointed Secretary to the  Board to fill the role vacated by Joe Burgett.

Superintendent Mike Schmidt began the discussion on the Action Item. Schmidt explained that  the district has been monitoring the facilities. The state has rated the facility at Deer Creek Elementary, including Deer Creek Preschool and Transportation with an index rating that indicates the cost of necessary repairs now exceeds the cost of replacement.  

There has been a master planning committee including district employees, community members and an architectural firm involved in determining the best solutions to the issues at Deer Creek which opened on Aug 20, 1973. Additionally, concerns with safety, security and building needs at Fitzsimmons Middle School and Platte Canyon High School were also considered.

Schmidt proposed two options with both options replacing Deer Creek Preschool, Deer Creek Elementary School and Transportation. The first option was for less money which would not cover all the costs. The second option would cover the estimated cost for new construction of the Deer Creek campus.

The estimated bond increase of 7.305 mills would impact the homeowner approximately $50.77 per $100,000 evaluation. The commercial property owner would see an impact of $211.84 per mill.

Spodyak led the discussion by stating, “Construction costs are going up and I don’t see them going down.”

VanDeHey added, “Something has to be done at the elementary school. The heat is a mess, some classrooms have had days without heat.”

“We can only do so many bandaids,” added Prewitt.

Carman commented, “For safety and efficiency something has to be done.”

Spodyak concluded, “We are trying to be conscientious with taxpayer money, but we have to do what’s best for our kids.”

In addition to the mill levy override, the district will apply for a BEST grant from the state to cover up to 50% of the costs.

The Ballot Issue was passed and reads:

Shall Platte Canyon School District No. 1 debt be increased by $33.9 million, with a repayment cost of up to $59.9 million, and shall district taxes be increased by up to $2.5 million annually, to address, to the extent of available funds, the capital needs of the district and finance the costs of:

- constructing a new pre-kindergarten through fifth grade elementary school.

- making improvements to the middle/high school site to address safety and security needs and extend building useful life;

And constructing, renovating and repairing district capital assets, by the issuance and payment of general obligation bonds with shall bear interest, mature, be subject to redemption, with or without premium, and be issued at such time, at such price (at, above or below par) and in such manner and containing such terms, not inconsistent with this ballot issue, as the The Board of Education might determine: and shall ad valorem property taxes be levied without limit as to the mill rate not inconsistent with the cost parameters set forth above and in an amount sufficient in each year to pay the principal of, premium if any, and interest on such debt?

VanDeHey then read the full resolution that will put the issue on the Nov ballot.

Next steps include forming a committee with community members to determine the placement of the new building and ongoing requirements for the election.

Following the official Board Meeting, a random lot drawing was held to determine placement on the Nov ballot for election to the vacant Board seats. The ballot positions were determined to be:

1.  Sheri Bezzant     

2.  Cynthia Sherriff       

3.  Melissa Winefeldt        

4.  Frank VanDeHey

5.  David Poniatowski

6.  Charles Guttilla

To read the full ballot issue and resolution, visit the Platte Canyon School District website.

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