By Jerome Tharaud/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
The election for Havre Public Schools on Tuesday will feature three trustees running for three openings, and two building reserve votes.
In Elementary School District 16, incumbent Judy Bricker and newcomer Todd Hanson will be running for two trustee seats. Trustee Dave Milam did not seek re-election. No write-in candidates registered for the election by the April 10 deadline, so Bricker and Hanson are assured seats on the school board, election administrator Zella Witter said Tuesday.
In the outlying Cottonwood and Davey districts of High School District A, incumbent Aileen Couch will run unopposed for the high school trustee vacancy, and is likewise assured a seat.
The two ballot measures are a proposal for an additional levy for the elementary building reserve fund, and one for the high school building reserve fund.
Building reserve funds are specifically for the maintenance and operation of buildings.
The elementary reserve measure requests authority to impose a levy of $550,000 - $185,000 per year for the length of the three- year project - to replace the heating and ventilation system at Lincoln-McKinley Primary School.
The new project comes after the completion of the Sunnyside Intermediate School heating system, which required $150,000 per year for three years.
"We're basically asking to take care of Lincoln-McKinley in the same way," Havre Public Schools Superintendent Kirk Miller said Tuesday. Miller said the Lincoln-McKinley project would cost an additional $35,000 per year because it is a two-story building.
Miller emphasized the fact that taxpayers would be taking on very little extra cost if they approve the measures because the amount requested is close to the amount collected for the elementary building reserve for the last three years and earlier.
"This is a continuation of a request that has really been going on for three decades," he said. "I wouldn't want anybody to think that there is now $185,000 a year tacked onto their taxes."
Miller said the $35,000 increase is less than 2 mills. The district collects 300 mills for the general fund.
The high school building reserve measure asks voters to approve a four-year project that would install new windows and insulation at Havre High School, beginning with the south side of the building; renovate Blue Pony Stadium, including new bleachers on the north and south sides of the facility; and refurbish the high school auditorium, including replacing the seats and resurfacing the floor of the stage and the auditorium.
The $740,000 project comes after the completion of a five-year levy for the sloped roof on the high school. That project cost $165,000 per year for a total of $825,000. The new project would increase that by $20,000 each year for four years.
As with the elementary school, Miller emphasized that the tax increase would not be great.
"I want people to understand that it's not like your taxes are going to skyrocket here," he said, pointing out that $20,000 is less than 1 mill.
Voters in Elementary School District 16 will vote on both building reserve issues, while the Cottonwood and Davey districts will vote only on the high school building reserve.
There will be no general fund mill levy election this year for Havre Public Schools. By state law, levies cannot be imposed on taxpayers in the elementary district because of the enrollment decrease.
Miller said the 13-student increase in high school enrollment this year would have allowed a mill levy to be imposed on taxpayers in the high school mill levy election this year for Havre Public Schools. By state law, additional general fund levies cannot be imposed on taxpayers in the elementary district because of the enrollment decrease.
Miller said the 13-student increase in high school enrollment this year would have allowed a mill levy to be imposed on taxpayers in the high school district, but that the trustees decided not to hold a mill levy election.
"We don't want to do that at these times that people are living through," Miller said.
Voting will be in the Havre High School gymnasium from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Cottonwood residents vote at north Cottonwood School. Davey residents vote at Davey School for the elementary election and at Havre High for the high school district election.
Absentee ballots can be obtained from the clerk's office at Robins School, 425 Sixth St. between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Requests by mail should be addressed to the Election Coordinator, P.O. Box 7791, Havre, MT 59501.
Absentee voting closes Monday at noon.
For more information, call Zella Witter at 265-4356.
Elections will also be held in other Hi-Line districts on Tuesday:
Davey Elementary District 12: Incumbent Violet Davey is running unopposed. A general fund levy for $3,480 will also be on the ballot. Voting takes place between noon and 8 p.m. at the resource building at Davey School.
Box Elder School District 13G: Four candidates are running for two seats. The candidates are incumbents Jean Butler and Barbara L. Friede, and Lawrence Thomas Parisian and Roland R. Menard. Voting will take place by the front office at Box Elder Schools between noon and 8 p.m.
Rocky Boy School Districts 87J-L: Six candidates are running for two seats. The candidates are Kenneth R. Standing Rock Sr., Debbie St. Pierre, Patrick Chief Stick Jr., Duane Gopher, Thelma J. Stanley, and Ted E. Whitford. Whitford is the only incumbent. Voting will take place between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. in the gym at Rocky Boy Elementary School.
KG Elementary School District 88: There is a general fund mill levy for $16,698 and an elementary building reserve of $50,000 over five years. Voting will take place at Kremlin School and Gildford School from noon to 8 p.m.
KG High School District H: Incumbent Mitzi Dees ran unopposed for one seat, and wins by acclamation without being on the ballot. There is a general fund mill levy of $60,385. There is also a high school building reserve of $50,000 over five years. Voting will take place at Kremlin School and Gildford School from noon to 8 p.m.
Blue Sky Schools District K: Incumbent Todd Langel will be on the ballot for one open seat. There is a K-12 general fund mill levy of $73,286. Voting will take place at Blue Sky School in Rudyard and the Hingham Community Center from noon to 8 p.m.
Joplin-Inverness School District 29-28J: One candidate will be running for one open seat. Newcomer Larry Wood will be replacing trustee Tom Bangs. There is a K-12 general fund levy of $264,907. Voting will occur between noon and 8 p.m. in Joplin's old gym and the Inverness music room.
Information was not available this morning for the Cottonwood district.