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$89.8M Guthrie school bond issue draws ire of some

Guthrie School District residents are being asked to vote on $89.8 million school bond issue that would raise property taxes almost 24 percent.
BY TRICIA PEMBERTON Modified: August 20, 2010 at 6:29 am •  Published: August 20, 2010

"We're in a position where it's not going to get cheaper, and our facilities are at a point where they must be dealt with," Simpson said. "Our construction dollar will go further today than it will four or five years from now."

When asked about the need for extra sports facilities, Simpson said, "We have in Guthrie Public Schools a tennis team, and we've never hosted a tennis tournament because there are not enough tennis courts in town. We have served as a host in Edmond, but we can't host one in Guthrie.

"We have the two-time defending 5A boys' state championship track team, as well as last year's 5A academic state champions in track, and we haven't hosted a track meet in 17 years.

"We have a recent two-time state championship boys' basketball team, and we don't have a facility that will allow us to host anything other than the first round of playoffs."

Guthrie voters have rejected the past two bond issues brought to them — $5.8 million in April 2009 that would have removed the junior high school, and $12 million in October 2008 that would have repaired the junior high and other schools in the district.

Votes on both came in just a few points short of the 60 percent approval rating needed to pass school bond issues.

Bob Bozarth said he's opposed to this new issue, as well.

"I feel like the school board is trying to do too much at once, and increasing the taxes that much at one time is difficult for people."

Local Realtor Jan Goodyear is on the opposite side of the fence. He's spearheading the vote yes campaign.

"If we can't have good schools and good teachers, the community will not grow and thrive," he said.

Goodyear says he looks at the taxes as an investment for children and grandchildren.

"The citizens are being asked to pay more in property taxes, but if it grows the community and new businesses open up, that tax goes down," he said.

Forum set
A community forum on the Guthrie school bond issue will be at 6:30 p.m. today at Guthrie West Christian Church, 1802 W Logan. The forum is sponsored by the nonprofit group Neighborhood Solutions.


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