Tricounty News

Leaving for vacation

The hardest part about going on vacation is getting going. The energy and effort required to plan and pack can leave you weary and in need of a vacation – especially if you fulfill the role of predominant packer for your pack.

At my house, vacation preparation involves approximately 2,537 unique tasks. My husband is responsible for a number of them – filling the vehicle’s gas tank, mapping our course on the atlas, carrying the cooler up from the basement and bringing the luggage out to the car. For those who are counting, that makes four. Those good at math realize that leaves me with the other 2,533.

Ignore my bitterness. It’s unfounded. Most families divide duties in a way that works for them. My husband does many things to make sure our house runs smoothly. He cooks. He vacuums. He empties. He restocks. He loads and unloads numerous appliances. He flushes things that need flushing. He even makes me coffee each morning.

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April 18 Update

Homeowners should see reduction in school taxes

I’m hoping to share some good news as tax statements have recently arrived. Homeowners of the Eden Valley-Watkins School District should find a pleasant surprise when opening their 2014 Property Tax Statements. Most residents should see a reduction in school taxes due to equalization enacted by the Legislature, and the results of our refinanced bond that took place a year ago. On average, a homeowner should see school taxes reduced by $11.00 for every $50,000 of property value. For instance, if your property is valued at $150,000 you are likely to see a $33.00 reduction.

While most of the funds for educating our children come from state income and sales taxes, The Eden Valley-Watkins School Board is most appreciative of our voter support for voter approved referendums that are critical to providing our quality education. As a result of our cooperative efforts and lobbying for new legislation, our total district property taxes dropped $61,730 and were replaced with state aid. That is the main reason you should see a reduction in your school property taxes.

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Backside bling

I grew up in an era where cool jeans came outfitted with a tiny red rectangular tag and a number somewhere in the 500s. The choices were straightforward – boot-cut or straight leg, stonewashed or regular. Mom jeans hadn’t been invented, because those of us wearing them weren’t moms yet.

It was a simpler time – when jeans were jeans. They covered what they needed to cover and served as a practical staple in one’s wardrobe. Times have changed. Hip, fashion-forward folks make statements with their derrieres by way of fancy stitching, rhinestones and other gaudy adornments. Bling, baby – it’s hit our rear ends and it’s hit them hard.

I’m not merely talking about the attire of twentyish trendsetters – although they also follow the fad. I’m referring to moms, like me, bedazzling their backsides in ostentatious splendor – no ifs, ands or buts about it.

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April 11 Update

Road construction

As you are aware, the City of Eden Valley moves into another phase of improvements to city streets, sanitary and storm sewers, and waterlines. Beginning Monday, April 14, 2014, you will notice detour and road-closed signs on Hwy. 22 heading North from Stearns Avenue to McCarthy Avenue. In the interest of safety, the streets under construction will be closed to traffic. When coming to school from the North, be sure to use the designated Hwy. 22 detour located along Co. Rd. 9, or the Vails Lake Rd. when coming from the Northwest.

Education Finance Bill

The current session is moving along quickly and legislators are working to complete some significant Bills in order to get back to their home districts for Easter Break. By the time you read this update, some Bills may already be signed and set for implementation into the 2014-15 school year.

The House Finance Bill has a target of 75 million, which includes a 1-percent improvement to the current student funding formula. The Senate Finance Bill has a target of 41 million and experienced some modifications this week. One major amendment to the Senate Finance Bill approved 10 million to be used for training and implementation of the mandated Teacher Development and Evaluation process set for the 2014-15 school year. You can be sure that a lot of bargaining and negotiating will be taking place throughout the week, and the current finance bills may undergo additional revisions.

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April 4 Update

Legislative Updates

The legislative session continues to heat up as various bills face debates on the House and Senate floors. The most notable is the Safe and Supportive Schools Act which is up for consideration, and we’ll be hearing results in the next few days. If passed at the Senate level, the bill would then go to the House for their approval.

In the meantime, the House will be discussing their finance package today. It includes
$75 million new dollars for schools. A portion of the House version will provide an additional 1 percent to the general education formula. These are dollars that will benefit every district in this state. Once approved by the House, it will be debated with the Senate which has $41 million budgeted for education. The majority of Senate proposed dollars is earmarked for early childhood education and scholarships.

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