© 2019 Webster City Community Schools

Addressing Facility Needs in Webster City Schools

 

On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, residents of the Webster City Community Schools will vote on a Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL). If approved, the 10-year levy would provide $524,105 per year for maintenance, security and infrastructure projects to address key facility needs throughout our schools. 

 

In approving the PPEL for the ballot, the Board of Education has prioritized three principles:

 

ENHANCING SAFETY & SECURITY

Our number one priority is the safety and security of our students, staff, families and visitors. While our schools are currently safe, an approved PPEL would allow the District to establish controlled-access entryways across all five schools. This would further enhance safety and address the evolving security needs of the future. 

 

Additionally, the District would improve ADA accessibility at our athletic fields and bleachers, providing a safer, inclusive environment for all students, families and guests. 

 

MAINTAINING OUR INVESTMENTS

The District must continue to maintain its current facilities to ensure students have access to quality classrooms and spaces that provide for the exceptional educational experience for which Webster City Community Schools is known. 

 

If approved, the PPEL would allow the District to improve facilities, make equipment repairs and upgrades and enhance energy efficiency throughout its buildings. This would include:

  • A roof replacement plan across schools

  • Adding air conditioning in all schools

  • Purchasing new buses as aging vehicles need to be cycled out of our fleet

 

FISCAL STEWARDSHIP

The District and Board aim to keep the school portion of your property taxes low in our community. We are working hard to ensure we make the most of every dollar taxpayers invest in Webster City schools. While the state of Iowa’s SAVE program will allow us to pay down debt, the PPEL would provide us with the funds for maintenance, infrastructure and updated vehicles. 

 

The PPEL rate has been at $0.67 per $1,000 of assessed property value for about 20 years. An approved PPEL would increase that level to $0.77. This would have a tax impact of an additional $10 per year on $100,000 of assessed property value.

 

However, due to the recent District reorganization with Northeast Hamilton, the overall school district portion of residents' property taxes has decreased from $14.83 per $1,000 of assessed property value to $12.43 per $1,000 of value as of July 1, 2019. Therefore, the overall school tax rate would be lower.


Additionally, the Board recently voted to continue not to charge registration fees and freeze other fees for the upcoming school year.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a voted PPEL?

A PPEL is a voter-approved levy that generates funds a school district can use for infrastructure and equipment repairs, purchases and improvements. Funds may be used only for these purposes. 

 

Why is a voted PPEL necessary in Webster City?

The Webster City Community Schools has a number of maintenance and security needs that go beyond the limits of its operational budget. This includes the need for upgraded security at all five schools and several maintenance issues that must be addressed promptly to maintain the investment the community has made in its local schools.

 

The District must continue to maintain its current facilities to ensure students have access to quality classrooms and spaces that provide for the exceptional educational experience for which the Webster City Community Schools is known. 

 

How would the District use the PPEL funds?

An approved PPEL would allow the District to improve facilities, make equipment repairs and upgrades and enhance energy efficiency throughout its buildings. This would include:

  • A roof replacement plan across schools

  • Adding air conditioning in all schools

  • Purchasing new buses as aging vehicles need to be cycled out of our fleet

 

The District would also establish controlled-access entryways across all five schools. This would further enhance safety and address the evolving security needs of the future. 

 

In addition, the District would improve ADA accessibility at our athletic fields and bleachers, providing a safer environment for students, families and guests. 

 

How would the PPEL affect property taxes?

The PPEL rate has been at $0.67 per $1,000 of assessed property value for about 20 years. An approved PPEL would increase that level to $0.77. This would have a tax impact of an additional $10 per year on $100,000 of assessed property value.

 

However, due to the recent District reorganization with Northeast Hamilton, the overall school district portion of residents' property taxes has decreased from $14.83 per $1,000 of assessed property value to $12.43 per $1,000 of value as of July 1, 2019. Therefore, the overall school tax rate would be lower.

 

The PPEL would generate about $524,105 per year for District maintenance and safety projects. The levy would last for 10 years. 

Note: Due to the combined assessed values of both districts when the reorganization occurred, the tax rate in Blairsburg went up $1.54. However, the PPEL rate there has been $0.77 for several years.

When is election day?

The special school election date is Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

 

Where can I vote November 5?

Voters may cast their ballots at their regular polling location on Tuesday, November 5. Polling location information is available here: https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterreg/pollingplace/search.aspx 

 

What question will voters see on the ballot?

The official ballot language, approved by the Webster City Board of Education, is as follows:

 

Shall the Board of Directors of the Webster City Community School District in the Counties of Hamilton, Webster, and Wright, State of Iowa, be authorized for a period of ten (10) years, to levy annually, as determined by the Board, a voter-approved physical plant and equipment property tax not to exceed Seventy-Seven cents ($.77) per one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) of the assessed valuation of the taxable property within the school district commencing with the levy for collection in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020, to be used for the purposes permitted by Iowa law?

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