Schools seek funding in election

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School board elections will take place on Feb. 5 in Socorro and Catron counties. On the ballot, voters will see the mill levy and the general obligation bond.

Socorro Consolidated Schools Superintendent Randall Earwood said the general obligation bond is for $5 million dollars and goes towards big projects needed to keep facilities up to date and in compliance.

The district uses the two mill levy, which is up for renewal, to keep up with maintenance for all facilities. The tax levy is renewed every six years.

If the general obligation bond passes, Socorro Consolidated Schools will use some of the bond money for the bigger projects and replace San Antonio’s school building. The new building will cost $1.6 million and, if the bond passes, the state will provide 77 percent of the funding, he said.

Other projects the bond will fund include $500 thousand for new classrooms at Cottonwood Valley Charter School; $257 thousand for Parkview Elementary School repair and replacement of windows, sidewalks, entry security and to make the playground ADA accessible; $553 thousand to Sarracino Middle School to renovate restrooms, doors and hardware replacements; and $1.3 million to Socorro High School to renovate restrooms, locker rooms and door replacements. In addition, $200,000 will be used for technology updates and $263 thousand for other district wide projects, he said. The bond will also cover $250 thousand for administrative costs and contingency needs.

“The bond, if approved, will not increase taxes,” Earwood said.

Superintendent for Catron County Schools, Bill Green, said there are two school districts, Reserve and Quemado, in the county. There, the general obligation bond goes towards constructing new buildings.

There are no contested positions in the Catron County elections. Green said there is only one person running for each position. There are five new people running in Catron positions and two incumbents. Eight total positions are open.

In Reserve, the school board president will be Russell Laney and Sam Nicolds, vice president. The three new members are Carl Livingston, Sharon Armijo and Bobby Ricks. In Quemado, members are President Elena Farr, Vice President Gary Roberts, Secretary Polly Pierson and two members, Denny Carver and Marilyn Bunney.

The mill levy in Reserve can be used toward maintenance and repairs, Green said. If passed, the mill levy for Reserve will go toward fixing bathrooms, purchasing maintenance supplies and replacing water lines, and to repair equipment, he said. The mill levy is good for six years and can be re-voted on. In the last school board election, the mill levy did not pass so it is being voted on again.

The mill levy will provide approximately $50,000 to $70,000 dollars a year without raising taxes, Green said.