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Ridgefield City Council And Port Pass Resolutions In Support Of Proposed Bonds

Ridgefield City Council And Port Pass Resolutions In Support Of Proposed Bonds

Ridgefield School District received some outside support for its school bond proposals last week after Ridgefield’s City Council and the Port of Ridgefield passed resolutions in support of Propositions 10 and 11.

Voters will decide whether to approve two bond propositions to build two schools in Ridgefield to alleviate overcrowding in an April 23 special election.

Proposition 10 would fund the construction of a 75,000-square-foot kindergarten through fourth grade elementary school and a 23,000-square-foot expansion to Ridgefield High School, including space for 10 general education classrooms and technical education programs.

Proposition 11 includes the construction of a 125,000-square-foot middle school for fifth through eighth grades and a new wrestling room with locker rooms at Ridgefield High School. Construction for Proposition 10 projects is anticipated to wrap up by fall 2025. Proposition 11 projects would be completed by fall 2026. Voters must approve Proposition 10 for Proposition 11 to pass, should the second proposition gather the needed votes.

If both pass, property taxes would increase to $3.89 per $1,000 in assessed value, a $1.30 increase for residents. Property owners would begin paying more in 2025, according to the district’s website. The district would receive $11.7 million in state matching grants to fund construction, should the bonds be approved in April.

In its Feb. 28 meeting, the Port of Ridgefield voted unanimously to endorse the two bond measures. In a press release, Commission Chair Bruce Wiseman said that approving improvements in education is important for supporting the Ridgefield community.

“Good schools play an important role in supporting the overall health of a community, from meeting the needs of our families and creating a well-educated workforce for local businesses, to attracting new industries to our community,” Wiseman said in a news release. “This measure to responsibly build the infrastructure needed to keep up with Ridgefield’s rapid population growth is crucial for the long-term success of our community.”

During its March 14 meeting, Ridgefield’s City Council heard resi dent testimony before approving a resolution to support the bond.

Zach Smith, the chair of Citizens for Ridgefield Schools, a non-profit organization unaffiliated with the school district, said bond opponents offer no real solutions to the overcrowding students face throughout the district.

“They speak as if these are theoretical problems or future issues,” Smith said. “There’s nothing theoretical about a third of our students receiving education in portables or that middle school students have to trek to the rec. center building because it’s the nearest empty room or that high school students are receiving trade education on outdated equipment.”

Two more residents spoke in favor of the bonds during the meeting. No residents directly opposed the bond during comments and testimony. Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Lindsay noted that she had recently received three emails from residents in favor of the bond.

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