School district receives community vote for housing
Three school board members reelected
By Bay Stephens EBS LOCAL EDITOR
BIG SKY – In the May 7 Gallatin County school election, Big Sky voters reinstated three incumbent school board members and approved both a $40,000 general levy fund and a $600,000 building reserve fund, which enables the district to build two triplexes for teacher housing in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Gallatin Valley.
The building reserve levy guarantees $600,000 in loans and interest to install the foundations and build the first three of the six units this summer. BSSD Superintendent Dustin Shipman said they hope to break ground by the end of the month and that they expect the first units to be completed by October.
“I think the trustees are thrilled that the community supported these levies in the numbers that they did,” Shipman said. “All that hard work at the school district is really a result of the community being in resounding support of the school district.”
Now in the permitting process, the project’s first hearing was on May 9 in front of the Gallatin County Planning and Zoning commission. Shipman doesn’t expect any hiccups.
School board chair Loren Bough, who was reelected to a two-year term in the May 7 election, said there was a direct correlation between the community’s support and Lone Peak High School’s designation as the top-ranked school in the state by U.S. News and World Report in their Best High School Rankings for 2019 earlier this month.
The building levy will raise taxes by $5.64 per year for every $100,000 in market value of a home, sunsetting in five years. The general levy will be put toward expenses related to teacher and staff salaries, increasing property tax by $1.88 per $100,000 in home value.
Bough ran unopposed and will continue to serve on the board with Whitney Littman and Scott Hammond, who were both reelected for three-year terms.
The three will be sworn in at the May 21 school board meeting, after which they will also determine a new governance structure.
Election results for Big Sky School District: