Quick Take:

Pajaro Valley Unified School District board members are considering whether to pursue a bond measure on the November 2024 ballot to fund repairs to schools and classrooms and potentially build staff housing. A survey shows they likely have the support they need.

The Pajaro Valley Unified School District has enough support from voters to pass a $315 million bond measure in the November 2024 election, according to a recent survey.

“You are in an excellent position for the presidential ballot,” Dale Scott of Dale Scott & Company consultancy firm told the district at its meeting last week.

Scott’s firm surveyed 407 voters in early August to help the district gauge public support for a new bond, which would potentially support renovating district facilities and help build a staff housing development. Among those surveyed, 66% said they would support the bond — 10% more than the required 55% to pass a bond measure in the district of 59,193 registered voters.

The seven-member board of trustees didn’t decide whether or not to pursue a bond at its meeting; however, if it later decides to pursue one, it must pass a resolution by June or July next year. A two-thirds majority of board members will be needed to approve the resolution.

Board members asked about the timeline for pursuing a bond, the cost to the district, how the bond amount is decided and what the proceeds of the bond could go toward.

The survey asked voters if they would approve a bond at a cost of 6 cents per $100 of assessed value on annual property taxes — which would raise $18.36 million per year. The funds could go toward building staff housing, renovating and repairing “aging classrooms and schools, including plumbing, electrical, and roofs, and it could upgrade campus security systems and improve access for people with disabilities.”

Scott said the amount the district pursues ultimately is up to its discussions with staff, what amount board members think voters would approve and how much they think they really need.

The Pajaro Valley Health Care District is also considering putting a bond measure on the ballot to help support Watsonville Community Hospital’s operations and potentially purchasing the hospital building and land the hospital sits on.

The hospital spends more than $3 million annually on lease payments.

A recent survey showed district voters would support a bond measure for the hospital.

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After three years of reporting on public safety in Iowa, Hillary joins Lookout Santa Cruz with a curious eye toward the county’s education beat. At the Iowa City Press-Citizen, she focused on how local...