Press release submitted by city of Bettendorf|
BCSD to Host Community Forum on PERL Levy Vote – August 25
The public is invited to attend a community forum regarding the PERL vote on 6-7 p.m., Monday, August 25 at Bettendorf Middle School, 2030 Middle Road.
Bettendorf Community School District residents will be able to place their vote 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. on September 9 at either of two polling centers – St. John Vianney, 4097 18th St. Bettendorf and Bettendorf City Hall, 1609 State St., Bettendorf.
The Public Education & Recreation Levy (PERL) would help fund upgrades and maintenance for school and community use playgrounds and recreation areas in the district. An immediate need for the funds is the upgrade of elementary playgrounds to meet ADA compliance, current safety standards and reduce the opportunity for playground injuries. Additional needs are tennis court and track maintenance as well as the addition of a track at Bettendorf Middle School.
"We want to assure we have safe and fun play areas for all children," said Theron J. Schutte, Ph.D., Superintendent. "Playground safety standards have changed rapidly over the years. Equipment and playground surfaces that were typical 5-10 years ago no longer comply with current safety standards. We'd like to assure that Bettendorf provides fun and interesting play areas that always meet the current safety standards for the children in our community."
The Iowa Legislature developed PERL to give school districts a way to maintain playgrounds, recreational places, and recreational activities within the school district. The PERL Levy would add 13.5 cents per $1,000 taxable valuation on the property tax rate beginning July 1, 2015.
The Bettendorf Community School District would initially ask for the full levy rate to provide approximately $189,433 in funding annually to help upgrade district playgrounds. The owner of an $180,000 home would pay approximately $12.88 a year in PERL taxes.
"The PERL funding would supplement other district funds to expedite playground and recreation area improvements," said Superintendent Schutte.
The Bettendorf Community School District has reduced the school property tax rate over the past few years, In the future the district would plan to maintain a combined school property and PERL tax rate below $15 per $1,000 of assessed value.
If approved, the levy would continue until the board of education votes to rescind the levy or a majority of voters in the district vote to discontinue the collection of taxes.
The Bettendorf City Council and Bettendorf Education Association (BEA) have both endorsed the Public Education & Recreation Levy.
There are currently 19 school districts in Iowa that have a PERL levy: Beaman-Conrad-Liscomb-Union-Whitten, Central Lyon, Columbus, Des Moines, East Marshall, George-Little Rock, Linn-Mar, Marshalltown, Mount Vernon, New London, North Iowa, Ogden, Olin, Orient-Macksburg, Titonka, Urbandale, West Bend – Mallard, West Des Moines, and West Hancock.
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