By Nancy Covert
A property tax rollback, receipt of clean-up funds for a school site, and formal sale of an 18.5 acre wetland area are three pieces of noteworthy news within Steilacoom Historical School District No. 1.
SHSD taxpayers will receive a tax rollback on voter-approved levy monies from the last major levy vote from 2005, according to Dr. Himmler.
SHSD’s Board of Directors, looking ahead to 2009, and in order to keep their promise made during the 2005 levy election, to not allow the levy tax rate to go above $2.59, voted to reduce the approved levy amount for 2009, which would have necessitated a $2.62 levy tax rate, by an amount designed to make the 2009 levy tax rate at or below the $2.59 rate.
While certainly not in control of all the variables which go into establishing the levy tax rate, the Board does have the power to reduce the voter-approved levy amount to keep the levy tax rate from escalating.
Another “win” for the district was the formal sale of an18.5 acre parcel behind Saltar’s Point Elementary school. The property was turned over by the School District and will be administered by the Town of Steilacoom.
The parcel, purchased with $1,259,745.10 of Pierce County trust funds, will be used as an outdoor classroom for SHSD student studies about area flora and fauna.
The process of placing this valuable wetland area into a trust fund was begun in 2007 as a way to protect that area located between Saltar’s Point School and Cormorant Passage.
“This kind of a project is a result of the agreement reached between three local taxing agencies: the school district, the Town of Steilacoom and Pierce County, ensuring that this natural resource would be available for students and citizens
“The land trust action is an excellent example of stewardship of tax monies administered by these three agencies,” said Dr. Himmler.
Lastly, a $50,000 mitigation payment from Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company (WRECO) has been accepted by the school board to help defray costs of the recent soil contamination clean up at the new Pioneer Middle School site at DuPont/Northwest Landing.