Oroville schools considering $1.45 million M & O Levy

OROVILLE – Although they do not yet have a quorum on the board to make the decision that would set the amount for the next two-year Oroville M & O Levy, Superintendent Ernie Bartelson will be recommending an amount of nearly $1.5 million.

“We don’t have a quorum to do any business. That was just a workshop,” said Bartelson, referring to a public meeting the two remaining board members held to discuss the upcoming levy.

“However, I am going to recommend to the board that they run the maximum amount allowable. We don’t have the precise figures from the auditor, but it will be in the neighborhood of 1.45 million at a levy rate of $2.30 per $1000 of assessed valuation,” the superintendent said.

The current levy that raised $771,000 has a levy rate of $2.22 per $1000 of assessed valuation. The district is looking at nearly double the levy amount requested in previous years due to several financial factors, including cutbacks in funding for basic education from the state and the total loss of Levy Equalization monies.

The state took away the Levy Equalization funds because the total evaluation within the district has nearly doubled due to a recent building boom of vacation properties. However, since the evaluation has increased so much, the amount people pay per $1000 of assessed evaluation will go up very little compared to previous years.

Supt. Bartelson will be traveling to Wenatchee on Thursday to pick up the Educational Services District’s appointment to one of the vacant board positions. This will give the board three members, who in turn can then legally appoint the other two board members.

“As you know, when a district does not have a quorum after the country formally certifies the election, the ESD has to appoint someone to the board. The ESD Board will be meeting Wednesday evening to discuss and make their selection for the appointment. I will open that envelope at the meeting on Thursday, read the ESD’s appointment and swear in their appointment. That will give us the quorum we need,” the superintendent said.

Once the three member Board is intact, Bartelson said he will recommend the levy amount of $1.45 million and the board will set the amount at the Thursday, Dec. 17 meeting which begins at 5 p.m. at the district office.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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