This week, the community will get their first look at an approximately $75 million bond measure the Canby School District is considering placing on the ballot for the May primary election, and will also have a chance to weigh in.
The community meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the library of the Ackerman Center.
The meeting, originally set for Jan. 14, has been pushed back a couple of times because the Bond Development Committee appointed by the district needed more time to put together a package of items from among the dozens — or even, hundreds — of potential projects that could be included.
It will not be rescheduled again, according to District Communications Coordinator Autumn Foster.
“Yes. This meeting will happen on Tuesday,” Foster said simply, when we asked if the Feb. 11 date was set in stone.
Under the new timeline, the district will also begin districtwide polling this week, with the goal of gathering further input on the proposed ballot language and bond package.
The final meeting of the Bond Development Committee is scheduled for Feb. 18, at which the group would review the poll results and input from the community meeting, and make changes or adjustments as necessary. This meeting, also open to the public, will be from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Canby School District Office, Meridian Room, located at 1130 S. Ivy St.
The package would then be finalized and presented to the school board for their vote at a special meeting on Feb. 26 — two days before the deadline to submit a measure for the May primary.
The bond would address high-need facility maintenance and improvement projects, safety and technology updates, and educational and vocational upgrades that would expand science labs and increase opportunities for hands-on learning.
The district is presenting the proposal as a no-tax increase measure, but rather, as an extension of the current rates that are in place from the bond approved to build Baker Prairie Middle School 15 years ago. Those rates expire at the end of the year.
Although the board could wait until November and still present the bond measure as an “extension” of the current rates, there are some reasons they might favor May. Actually, 4.8 million reasons.
The district has been awarded a state matching grant in that amount that they could collect to do additional facilities upgrades, but only if they pass a bond measure in May. This award will have expired by November, and the district would have to reapply for funding, with no guarantee of receiving it.