Provo City Council debates supporting school bond

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A proposed bond of $80 million would be used to rebuild Timpview High School. (Caleb Price)

Provo City Council members expressed mixed opinions about publicly supporting the Provo School District General Obligation Bond during a City Council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

The bond, proposed by the Provo City School District of Education and on the ballot this November, is for $80 million and would be used for a partial rebuild of Timpview High School. The proposed bond would increase property taxes by an average of $70 per year, or $5.83 per month.

A similar bond was presented last November and hotly contested by community members. At $245 million, the proposed bond would have increased property taxes by an average of $265.77 per year, or $22.07 per month. Over 63% of Provo voters voted against the bond and it failed to pass the 2019 general city elections. 

While the previous bond was to rebuild and renovate 14 schools within the Provo School District, the 2020 bond is solely focused on rebuilding Timpview High School. According to a statement by the Provo City School District, Timpview is continually deteriorating and “the proposed bond is to ensure that existing deterioration does not proceed to a point where it is condemned.” 

All councilors agreed that steps need to be taken to ensure the safety of the students and staff in the building, but some were unsure whether it was the place of the council to publicly endorse the bond. 

I personally support this bond,” Councilor Shannon Ellsworth said. “But I don’t know why we need to be involved.”

Councilor Bill Fillmore said joint support as a council was appropriate, especially considering the severity of the situation. “I believe that the two primary responsibilities of any governing board are to take care of public safety and proper education of our children.” 

The council moved to continue their discussion of the resolution at the next City Council meeting on Sept. 15th. Directions for how to view and participate in the council meeting are available on the council’s website.

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