November 3, 2009
Amy Stewart

Granite and Davis school districts saw great success with their bond referendums in Tuesday’s elections, but Duchesne School District residents decided not to lend much support to construct new school buildings.
Granite district voters approved a $256 million bond by 58 percent — 18,204 to 13,282 votes.

“We appreciate the widespread support from across the district, which demonstrates a commitment to a strong educational environment,” said Granite Superintendent Stephen Ronnenkamp.

Davis voters gave the green light for a $250 million bond by 62 percent, with most of the precincts in at press time.

“We’re happy the residents of Davis County continue to come out in support of education. We will follow through with our promise to not increase the current tax rate and to build the classrooms and schools that we need,” said Davis School District spokesman Chris Williams.

At press time, it looked like Duchesne School District’s $49 million bond was shot down. With six of seven precincts reporting, the tally was 873 for and 1,246 against, according to district officials.

“We’re getting close to giving up,” said Dee Miles, Duchesne business administrator, after most of the precincts were in late Tuesday night.

Granite and Davis district residents will see no increase in property taxes with the bond referendums because the two districts have paid off old bond debt. Duchesne district’s bond would have been a tax increase of $65 annually for a $113,000 home. With the bond not passing, taxes would go down $103 between now and 2021, when the existing bond is paid off. District officials wanted to build an additional elementary school and replace two high schools.

Granite District’s plan is to rebuild Granger and Olympus high schools, Woodstock and Oakwood elementary schools and the Hartvigsen school for medically fragile students; and construct two new elementary schools and a new junior high. A total of $60 million of the bond funding would go toward installing air conditioning in 51 schools.

“We appreciate the confidence of the voters of the district. We want to assure them we will be fiscally responsible in spending these funds in the delicate economic environment,” said Granite District spokesman Ben Horsley.

Davis District aims to build one new junior high school in west Kaysville; construct three new elementary schools in west Layton, West Point and a yet-to-be-determined site; rebuild Wasatch Elementary School and create a school for medically fragile students.

Davis District also is planning additions at four schools: Millcreek Junior High, Woods Cross High, South Weber Elementary and Layton High.

Further, Davis School District also wants to make property purchases for future school sites so the district isn’t caught in a situation of needing a school in an area where there is no land available to be built.

The Utah Taxpayers Association endorsed Granite and Duchesne District’s proposal and remained neutral on Davis District’s.