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School bond measure fails

A closeup on the ballot box at the Moffat County Courthouse invites voters to insert their ballot and cast their vote.
Cuyler Meade / Craig Press

The school district’s mill levy to provide tens of millions of dollars from property taxes and the state’s BEST grant did not pass after months of campaigning from proponents of the bond measure.

According to numbers released by the county clerk, 62.6% of voters rejected the bond while 37.34% voted yes.

The BEST grant — which stands for Building Excellent Schools Today — grants funding to Colorado school districts to make capital improvements, such as construction of new schools or general construction and renovation of existing school facility systems and structures. With this grant, Moffat County Schools would have received $6.48 million in matching funds from the grant, totaling $45 million in repairs across all buildings in the district.



The other $38.52 million would have been received over the coming years as a result of a mill levy on property taxes. Called Initiative 4A on Moffat County ballots, the bond proposed raises on property taxes by 7.4 mills, meaning that a homeowner whose property is assessed at $200,000 would have paid an additional $105.82 per year, for a total of about $560 per year in taxes to the school district. Before Initiative 4A, the school district taxes 31.826 mills, meaning that post-election, MCSD would have received approximately 39.22 mills.

There is a current bond for the school district which will end in 2028.



For months, the school district has been transparent when it comes to where the money from the BEST grant and the mill would have gone and what improvements to MCSD buildings will be made. According to documents released by the district, most of the money — around $20 million — was planned for improvements at Moffat County High School. Most of that $20 million was budgeted for electrical/mechanical improvements and updates to the football stadium. Specifically at the football stadium, the district was focused on updating facilities to adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Since 2008, BEST has awarded approximately $2.5 billion in grants to more than 525 Colorado schools. BEST money comes from funding from The Colorado State Land Board, Colorado Lottery, marijuana excise tax and local matching dollars (in the form of property taxes, in the case of initiative 4A).

The top of the Official Coordinated Election Ballot for Moffat County.
Cuyler Meade / Craig Press

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