It can be difficult to make some decisions. Especially if it is a decision to spend money. I always have to balance the costs of continuing to repair older vehicles against the value of a newer vehicle that will not need costly repairs for a long time, but is expensive, against a vehicle that is already paid for but needs expensive repairs several times a year. That is the kind of balance I have applied to my decision to support 4A.

West Park school has outlived its useful life. It has required costly repairs annually for some time. There is no good reason to believe that cycle will not continue. It is not a situation where maintenance has not been performed. However, West Park is rated as one of the 10 poorest-condition schools in Colorado. That terrible rating and a very good application resulted in an award of a BEST grant to pay for approximately 60% of the cost of a new building to replace West Park and Pitts. To receive the BEST grant the voters must vote to tax themselves for the remaining 40%.

As when the high school was modified and repurposed, we voters must commit ourselves to pay about 40% to match the 60%. The cost will be $2.50 for each $100,000 of a homes’ assessed valuation per month. If your home is valued at $300,000 it will cost $7.50/month, or $90/year.

For those increased taxes we will have a new building that meets 21st-century educational needs as well as current life-safety needs for students from pre-school through second grade. The increased tax will be collected for 20 years. I have vehicles older than that which still serve my needs, and this school will be serving our students’ needs for decades to come, as West Park did until the last decade or so.

Please join me and provide this support for our students. Vote yes on 4A.

Bud Elliott

Leadville

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