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The News

The News

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As part of an effort to place a bond measure to improve the size of the Jenkins Jr/Sr High School building on the February 2015 ballot, the Chewelah School board discussed two possible options at their Sept. 15 meeting.
Option 1 was essentially the same bond proposed to the community in 2013, a measure that would remodel the existing 56,600 sq. feet of the Jr/Sr High building and add 19,500 for additional classrooms and gymnasium space to “meet the needs of the district for the next 30 years.” The cost of the proposal would be $20.14 million, with $10.12 million coming from state funds. The cost of Option 1 for the district taxpayer per $1,000 of assessed value would depend on the length of the bond. A 20 year bond would cost $1.61/per $1,000 assessed, 15 years would cost $1.95/per $1,000 assessed, 10 years would be $2.75 per $1,000 assessed and 5 years would be $5.66/per $1,000 assessed.
Several board members noted that Option 1 would be their preferred option, but it was the same measure the residents of the taxing district rejected last year.
“Option one really is the best over the long term, but based on 

the response from the community we need to offer something different,” said Board member Clint Kirry. “Option 2 would allow us to take care of some immediate concerns while still allowing us to be eligible for grant money in the future and can address some of the remodel issues. But what will be hard will be to convince people that we are not backing down from this option 1 because it is not needed, but because we understand that there is a threshold the community will not cross, even while our buildings are in dire need.”
Kirry and board members John Eminger, chairwoman Loretta Burkey and Tim Whitley discussed Option 2, a scaled down version that they felt would likely be more agreeable to the community. Board member Deanna Norvell was absent from the meeting.
“We have to try, try, try again,” said Board member Tim Whitley. “While I am confident that Option 1 is the better deal, we are not going to get it despite lots of effort because our effort last time was good.”
Option 2 would add the additional 19,500 square feet to the Jr/Sr High School and provide 4 classrooms, 1 computer lab and secondary gym/multipurpose space. The existing school would not be remodeled but would be eligible for matching state grant funds at a later date. The total cost would be $6.84 million, with $2.7 million coming from state funds. The rate to taxpayers for a 20 year bond would be $.67 cents/per $1,000 assessed; a 15 year rate would cost $.81 cents; 12 years would cost $.96 cents and 5 years would cost $2.34/$1,000 assessed.
The board discussed how to address the need for a new track at the high school and asked Superintendent Linehan to come back to the board with an option that included the track. Linehan said that could be considered and that other options might also be explored.
“We have talked with the city and there is a possibility that we could be eligible for a parks and recreations grant that would allow us to rebuild the track, similar to the Barbour complex, “ Linehan related.
Linehan is slated to bring additional versions of Option 2 for the board’s consideration at the November school board meeting. For more information, visit www. Chewelah.k12.wa.us or call 685-6800.

By Jamie Henneman, The Independent Staff

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Due to an accidental omission on the General Election ballot, Chewelah residents will receive a second ballot this week regarding the Stevens County Rural Library District levy lid lift proposal. These supplemental ballots were mailed out Tuesday, Oct. 21 after the Elections Department was notified of the mistake. The supplemental ballot will be due Nov. 4 in addition to the original.
“I sincerely apologize to the voters of the City of Chewelah for this mistake,” said Stevens County Auditor Tim Gray. “We failed to recognize the change in status when the City of Chewelah annexed into the Library District in 2013.”
The supplemental ballot contains the levy issue in the exact form as printed on the original ballot. The instruction is to vote and return that ballot just as you would the original.
If a voter has already voted and returned their original ballot, then vote and return the supplemental ballot in the color coded envelope.
If a voter has not voted/returned their original ballot then they can vote on the supplemental page and include it with their original ballot and ignore the color coded return envelope.
The Elections Department is also trying to set up a ballot drop site location in the City of Chewelah on Election day, Tuesday, Nov. 4, as an optional method to return any ballots.
This error only involves the Library Levy vote in the City of Chewelah.
For questions, call Stevens County Elections at 509-684-7514.

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County Treasurer, Sue Harnasch reminds all Stevens County property owners that the second half tax payments for real and personal property taxes are due October 31. Payments are considered timely if postmarked by October 31.
Interest of 1% will accrue on the amount still due November 1. Penalty in the amount of 8% will be applied on December 1, if not paid per RCW 84.56.020.
Second half coupons were sent as part of the one-page statements mailed out in March. When paying second half taxes, the second half coupon should be returned with payment. If you have multiple parcels you may use your 2nd half coupons to include with your payment. If the first half taxes have not been paid, contact the Treasurer's office for delinquent interest and penalty.
If personal property taxes have not been paid for 2013 and prior, they are now in danger of seizure and sale. It is important that you contact this office immediately to avoid this procedure.
The Treasurer also reminds property owners to make necessary address changes on the back of the coupon to update their current address.
Foreclosure proceedings have begun for property taxes due for the year 2011 and prior. Information on parcels in foreclosure is available on the county website www.co.stevens.wa.us - link to the Treasurer's Department.
Property owners who have any questions or need additional information about taxes or the tax notices are encouraged to contact the Treasurers office at 684-2593. Parcel information can be obtained at the Stevens County website: www.co.stevens.wa.us link to Parcel Information on the Assessor's Site.

Treasurer's office hours
8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. transactions requiring assistance
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. drop box outside office door
24 hour drive up drop box off elm street behind the courthouse
24 hour credit card/e check payment www.co.stevens.wa.us
-Submitted by Treasurer's Office



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