To the Editor:
The letter to the editor by Mrs. Helen Skinner with regard to the $1.75 million emergency school levy needs some clarity.
Mrs. Skinner says it has been 36 years since we passed a levy for the school. As far as that goes, she is right. However, during this time, there was a levy placed on the ballot but it was withdrawn because the courts ruled that the huge electric transmission line that ran through our county had to pay taxes. This was a huge windfall for the schools and the levy was withdrawn. Also during this time period, property values increased greatly.
Mrs. Skinner claims the school board has been working to reduce spending. This is as it should be. This is what we expect the board members to do: represent the taxpayers as they said they would when they ran for election. She also claims we will not support new buildings and that it is costly to maintain our buildings. I would remind Mrs. Skinner that many of our residents live in homes that are two and three times as old as our school buildings. These residents do an outstanding job of maintaining their homes. Maybe our school board and administrators could take a lesson from these residents. Remember, the resident has to pay utilities, insurance, repairs and maintain equipment, buy supplies and pay ever-rising taxes.
Before we vote on this levy, I would like to know how much money the school board received for oil and gas lease on the school farm and did they lease the 3rd St. properties? This should have been a fairly large amount. What did they do with this money? Also, I am informed there is to be a well drilled on the farm soon. According to reports of royalties paid on other wells, these should be very significant. Perhaps we need to wait and see how large the royalties will be.
Oh yes, before I forget, I went to school in two counties from the mid 1940s through the late 50s and my teachers didn’t carry any water in or build fires and we had indoor plumbing.