Wednesday, January 22, 2014/lk
The city of Sunnyside is growing – both population-wise and from an economic standpoint. Local citizens, beginning this week, have the opportunity to help ensure the community is prepared for continued growth.
Ballots will begin arriving in local mailboxes tomorrow. The Sunnyside School District is asking voters to cast a YES vote for a $10 million bond. If approved, the state of Washington will kick in approximately $11.5 million in matching funds.
With $21.5 million in hand, the school district will replace the aging Washington Elementary School building, which hasn’t had an upgrade in 31 years. Plans for the money also include district-wide security system enhancements, as well as an expansion of the Outlook Elementary School parking lot and replacing the high school track and field facility.
School enrollment counts are increasing by significant numbers each year. Population-wise, Sunnyside is on the “grow.” Sunnyside needs to stay ahead of the game, in terms of having the types of facilities that can best serve the children in our community.
The community is also on the “grow” economically. In 2013 new construction starts within the city limits of Sunnyside reached record-type levels. Total valuation of the new building projects last year topped the $29.7 million mark. Businesses are expanding. Jobs are being created. Sunnyside, simply put, is growing.
To continue attracting new businesses to our community, and help existing ones grow, it is imperative Sunnyside has a strong infrastructure in place. That starts with the schools. No one wants to live and work in a community if there aren’t good schools for their children to attend.
The school bond proposition now before us gives local residents the opportunity to keep Sunnyside’s schools ahead of the curve.
And the best part about voting YES, is that property taxes will not be affected. The Sunnyside school district tax collection rate remains the same, whether the bond is approved or rejected. That’s because the bond payments are paid from the school district’s excess general fund monies. The only tax the school district collects from property owners is for local school levies. And currently, that rate is the second lowest in all of Yakima County.
It’s pretty clear what the decision should be when casting your vote in the coming days. Join us in voting YES for Proposition 1 on your ballot. Help keep Sunnyside on the “grow.”