Schools mull smaller bond

Oak Harbor School Board members are considering a 22-year bond for $184 million on February’s ballot.

Oak Harbor School Board members are considering a 22-year bond for $184 million to replace four schools and the transportation center for February’s ballot. The school district did its first reading of the bond during the board meeting Monday but did not formally approve it.

The measure would help fund new buildings for Crescent Harbor, Oak Harbor and Olympic View elementary schools; a new transportation center; and a new building for Hand-in-Hand and Home Connection early learning programs.

Schools spokesperson Conor Laffey said the estimated tax rate for the $184 million bond would be $1.89 per $1,000 assessed value over 22 years. The current bond to pay off the high school has a tax rate of $1.72 and will be paid off in December 2022. Taxes for the new bond would not be collected until 2023.

The school district initially wanted to replace Oak Harbor Intermediate School as well, but it was not eligible for match funding. The district anticipates receiving over $107 million in federal funds to replace Crescent Harbor Elementary and Hand-in-Hand and Home Connection because they sit on Navy property. The state will match up to $22.7 million for the transportation center. The state would also contribute $32.5 million in funding for Olympic View Elementary because of its age.

The board must finalize the measure no later than Dec. 10 for it to be included on the Feb. 8 ballot.

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