School board trustee candidate runs unopposed

By Amanda Eggert EBS Senior Editor

BIG SKY – Registered voters in the Big Sky School District have until May 2 to vote on two levies and one school board trustee position. Ballots were mailed yesterday morning and must be returned to the Gallatin County Election Office by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2, to be counted.

If passed, a $100,110 general fund levy would provide funding for operating expenses and district maintenance. Specifically, the levy would provide for additional staffing for the 2017-2018 school year to accommodate the district’s growing enrollment. Big Sky School District Superintendant Dustin Shipman said administrators are looking to hire three teachers to split classes nearing state-mandated maximum enrollments and a special educator. The owner of a house assessed at $400,000 would pay an increase of $25.40 if the levy passes.

A separate building reserve levy for $541,730 would replace the current five-year levy, which is expiring. If passed, it would provide $108,346 in funding per year for five years. This levy would be used for facility maintenance and repairs, grounds maintenance and improvements, and equipment upgrades.

Specific projects identified for the funds include the installation of updated Internet cable and wiring throughout the high school, refurbishment of parking lot asphalt and markings, security upgrades to exterior doors and carpet replacement at the high school gym entrance. A home with an assessed market value of $400,000 would pay $27.48, the same rate as the expiring levy, if the new levy passes.

One Big Sky School District School Board trustee position is open and Stacy Ossorio was the only individual who filed for the post. She is seeking a three-year trustee position that’s being vacated by Maggie Luchini.

Voters who do not mail their ballot in time for it to reach the election office can hand-deliver them by 8 p.m. on May 2 to the Gallatin County Election Office in Bozeman, or to drop locations at the Belgrade School District office, Belgrade City Hall or the Monforton School District office.

There will be a town hall meeting for voters with questions about the levies on Wednesday, April 26 at 6 p.m. at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center.