Tammie Mader: Vote ‘yes’ on Referendum 3D | SteamboatToday.com

Tammie Mader: Vote ‘yes’ on Referendum 3D

Hayden School District RE-1 will have a ballot measure this November asking voters within the district for a small property tax increase known as a mill levy override. This mill levy will only last four years and will cost about $12.50 for every $100,000 of assessed property value.

This mill levy will be strictly dedicated to transportation. Hayden transportation travels on average 350 miles per day, delivering children to and from school. This is a small district, so we travel far for athletic events.

Our vehicles travel over Rabbit Ears Pass on a regular basis and as far as Vernal, Utah, to the Wyoming/Nebraska borders, and as far south as Durango. District drivers are on highways sometimes late at night in extreme winter weather conditions.

Because of these conditions, our transportation fleet is required to be updated in the next four years. This mill levy will allow us to replace some of our buses and small vehicles, with safer, energy-efficient vehicles.

For example, our small vehicles are used to transport our Tiger teams to summer camps, regional and state tournaments, music events, etc. Our teachers and administrators use small vehicles for trainings, meetings and conferences throughout a calendar year.

Our transportation fleet has buses that are no longer being manufactured. Vehicle parts are extremely expensive and hard to find for our older buses. We have three standard (not automatic) route buses, and standard buses are no longer even manufactured by Bluebird. It is more cost effective to buy a new bus than to service some of our older buses.

Furthermore, for senior citizens, this small tax increase is even less. The Homestead Exemption allows home owners who are at least 65 years of age and have owned and resided in their primary residence for at least 10 years, to apply for a discount on their property tax.

This discount reduces your value on your home by 50 percent of the first $200,000 of actual value. For more information on this process, you can call the Routt County Assessor’s Office.

On an interesting note, the district has transported school children and parents jointly to school field trips. Those parents usually remember riding the very bus we still use.

As a community, we owe it to our children to be transported to and from school, athletic events and field trips in the absolute safest vehicles. Please vote “yes” on Referendum 3D.

Thank you,

Tammie Mader

Hayden School District transportation director

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