School election ballots due today

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A row of school buses parked outside Hedges Elementary School in Kalispell in this file photo. (Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake file)

Voters are reminded to cast their ballots today in school elections.

The following is a recap of walk-in elections for Columbia Falls, Kalispell, Marion and Whitefish school districts.

Kalispell Public Schools will have two items on the ballot.

The district is proposing a $1 million general fund levy request for the elementary district. If approved, owners of homes valued at $200,000 may anticipate annual property taxes to increase by about $50.37.

The district is also seeking approval to purchase a 12-acre parcel north of Kalispell by Whitefish Stage Road and Rose Crossing as a future elementary school site. The purchase would be made using available funds the district has set aside in an interlocal fund.

General fund levies raise money to cover the day-to-day costs of operating and maintaining schools. These types of levies may be used on a broad range of expenses such as staffing, supplies, curriculum and utilities. A combination of district-wide budget cuts, the levy and some one-time funding would cover a budget shortfall and prepare for 2018, when Rankin Elementary opens.

If the bond does not pass, the district will have to look at making additional cuts that could impact programming and staffing.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today at the Country Fair Kitchen at Flathead County Fairgrounds on Meridian Road. Contact district clerk Gwyn Andersen at 751-3445 or anderseng@sd5.k12.mt.us for more information.

Voters living Columbia Falls School District will decide the fate of a $485,000 technology levy for the elementary district and a contested trustee race.

If the levy is approved, owners of homes valued at $200,000 could expect to see annual taxes increase by $43.20.

Technology levies raise money specifically for the rental, purchase or maintenance of technology in addition to staff training. Passage of a technology levy would free up general funds.

There are two seats open on the school board and five candidates including: incumbent Jill Rocksund, Bruce Crockett, Jonathan Foust, Michael Nicosia and Kyle Rosas.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today at Glacier Gateway Elementary, 440 Fourth Ave. W. Call district clerk Dustin Zuffelato at 892-6550 or d_zuffelato@cfmtschools.net for more information.

Whitefish School District is seeking approval of a $95,125 general fund levy for the elementary district. Voters will also decide a contested trustee election.

If the levy is approved, annual taxes may increase by $4.54 for owners of homes valued at $200,000.

There are two openings on the school board with three candidates in the running including Betsy Kohnstamm and incumbents Ruth Harrison and Marguerite Kaminski.

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Whitefish School District board room located at 600 E. Second St. Contact district clerk Danelle Reisch at reischd@whitefishschools.org or 862-8643 for more information.

Three candidates are vying for two open seats on the Marion School District board. Candidates are: Laurianne Stewart, and incumbents Lily Brower and Melissa Coscarelli.

Polls will be open from noon to 8 p.m. at the Marion Fire Department, 180 Gopher Lane. Call district clerk Rae Mitchell at 854-2333 or email rmitchell@marionschoolmt.com for more information.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.

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