Levy requests passed for Bigfork and Kalispell schools

Posted at 4:11 PM, May 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 15:02:03-04

BIGFORK – Voters have approved a pair of levies seeking funds to address aging and obsolete technology and bolster cybersecurity at the Bigfork School District, according to school officials.

Voters approved the high school levy with 1,371 in favor and 934 opposed. The elementary school levy also passed with 975 in favor and 665 opposing it.

The $150,000 technology levy is for the elementary and high school for 10 years.

School district officials say 75% of student computers are older than 2011 while 80% of iPads are almost obsolete. Additionally, and many classroom computers are no longer supported by Apple for security updates.

The levy money would go toward increased Ethernet speed as well as for updating smart boards throughout the elementary school.

With the levy’s passage, school taxes will actually decrease $9.17 in the elementary district on a home valued at $200,000. That’s because other school-based taxes are diminishing, resulting in reductions for the elementary district.

For the $100,000 high school tech levy, there will be an annual increase of 0.79 percent on a $200,000 home.

A mill levy was approved Tuesday for the Bigfork Fire Department, which was proposed in order to maintain their current services.

771 voted in favor of the levy while 374 opposed it.

The levy asked for 15 mills or $325,000 annually, which would translate to a $40 tax increase per year on a house worth $200,000.

KALISPELL – Voters agreed to pass a Kalispell Public Schools District levy for $1 million in funds.

The levy passed with 3,121 voters in favor of it, while 2,639 were opposed.

Superintendent of Kalispell Public Schools Mark Flatau has said the levy will provide support in opening the new Rankin Elementary School.

The levy would cost about $2.06 a month, or about $25 a yea, on a home valued at $100,000.

The last time Kalispell Public Schools ran a levy and it was approved was six years ago in 2012.