Voters support Aspen school ballot issues |

Voters support Aspen school ballot issues

Katie Redding
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Voters in the Aspen School District supported requests to fund technology, transportation and teacher housing on Tuesday.

According to uncertified election results, 3,635 voters supported Referendum 3A, a mill levy override that will allow the district to levy additional taxes for three years in order to pay for rising technology and transportation costs. The final tally showed 3,175 voters opposed the measure.

Referendum 3A allows the district to collect $4.5 million over three years, but spend it over six. Almost $2 million will be spent to replace 15 buses purchased between 1985 and 1989. The remaining money will fund purchases and repairs of computers, servers and network components.

The referendum saw virtually no organized opposition.

Referendum 3B, which will give the district permission to borrow $12 million for teacher housing, earned voter support by a narrower margin, with 3,541 voters supporting it and 3,225 voters opposing it.

Referendum 3B asked permission to borrow $12 million to buy teacher housing downvalley, improve the district’s existing housing at the West Ranch property in Woody Creek and build 12 duplexes at that property.

The district argued that the rising cost of downvalley housing, coupled with its need to hire new staff as older teachers retire, makes teacher housing an imperative need for the district.

Concerns about the bond issue had largely centered on lack of planning, with critics arguing that the district had not yet proven that it had exhausted options to build inside Aspen’s urban growth boundary and that it was not providing an adequately specific plan. West Ranch is outside of the growth boundary, but the school district, as an arm of the state, is not subject to county-designated boundary.

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