Northwest NEWS

April 23, 2001


Guest opinion

by Rick Harris
   There are, quite literally, prisons, business parks, communities smaller and, of course, larger, than ours with safer, drier, more structurally sound buildings and, in some cases, auditoriums and athletic fields that would be considered improvements to our facilities.
   These are the facts.
   Due to the expiration of current bonds it is estimated that this bond will cost me approximately $21.50 per $100,000 of my assessed property value per year. Since all current active bonds are expected to be retired by 2006, this bond should only increase my current property taxes by approximately $1 per every $100,000 of my assessed property value for the year 2002. After 2002 my costs for this bond should decline even more.
   For less than the cost of a double cheeseburger, a tall non-fat latte or two gallons of gasoline per year, I can support my community by providing SAFE schools with new roofs and repairs, the completion of our Performing Arts Center and an adequate athletic field complex for school physical education classes, football, track/field, soccer and a variety of community programs such as little league baseball, softball and soccer.
   Our school roofs are leaking, in constant states of costly repair and posing potential hazards to the safety, health and learning environment of our students and children.
   If I am a senior or disabled citizen and my annual income is $30,000 or less, I can submit a property tax exemption form, which would allow me to vote YES for local levies and bonds without paying any additional taxes. The forms and information are available at the SnoValley Senior Center, King County libraries and at the schools.
   Our athletes must PAY and travel to other fields just to practice. Our aspiring actors, dancers and performers do not have a complete, quality facility in which to develop their skills and let their talents shine.
   What will this $5.75 million bond provide for and what are the associated costs?
   Overbuild and re-roof the A, E and G buildings of Tolt Middle School in Carnation- $582,000
   Cosmetic, structural and seismic upgrades to buildings E and G at Tolt Middle School- $665,200
   Re-roof and perform structural repairs and upgrades to building L at Tolt Middle School - $130,000
   Re-roof Cedarcrest High School - $310,000
   Re-roof Stillwater Elementary School - $530,600
   Build an all season, multi-purpose P.E. and athletic field on-site at Cedarcrest High School - $3,294,500
   Finalize the completion of the Riverview Performing Arts Center at Cedarcrest High School-$225,500
   A contingency amount for miscellaneous work- $12,200
   Didn't we win a lawsuit over the CHS roof?
   The litigation over the CHS roof is not completed. A partial settlement amount has been received but the majority of the litigation monies are still under appeal. Although there is confidence a fair settlement will be reached, there is no way of telling when, or how much of, those monies will be collected. We know this; we do not have money to make the repairs and improvements that are crucial right now. We also know that, due to the foresight and planning of our Riverview School Board, at least the first $750,000 of any monies received from the litigation will immediately go towards the retirement of this bond.
   What will be included at the PE/Athletic Fields?
   The fields have been scaled down substantially and to the bare minimums. The bond would provide a multi-purpose, all season field for soccer, football and track and field. The field would utilize all-season turf, which reduces maintenance expense and is safer than other materials.
   It would provide for an expansion of the storm water systems, sewer systems and electrical systems. It would provide only modest bleachers (750 seats), restrooms, press box and concessions booth.
   The completion of the Performing Arts Center will provide an adequate venue for our talented students to develop their skills and share their work with the community through recitals and live performances of music, theatre and dance. It would provide for necessary drapery, lighting tracks and lighting instruments.
   Please join me in supporting our kids, our community and our future by VOTING YES for Riverview School District Proposition 1 on May 15, 2001. Each and every vote is crucial, please don't make the mistake of thinking your vote won't count. It will count, probably now more than ever before.