Tonasket gathers leaders

— A meeting of the minds took place Monday night as various leaders and elected officials gathered to discuss issues affecting their community.

The Tonasket School District, which is in the process of putting a bond and levy to the voters in February, organized the meeting, which featured representatives from the school board, Hospital District No. 4, local fire districts, the city, county commissioners and 7th District Rep. Joel Kretz and Sen. Brian Dansel.

The idea was that better communication among the different municipal groups could lead to a better community, as a whole.

The school district is seeking a $6 million capital improvement bond and a $1.64 million maintenance and operations levy.

If both were approved by voters, the net increase in taxes would be 71 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

Taxpayers are currently paying $4.26 per $1,000 on the school’s bond that is set to expire this month; the new bond and levy would cost $4.97 per $1,000.

With the upcoming legislative session on the horizon, Kretz said the governor’s proposed transportation tax will be one of the big issues.

Kretz said he is staunchly opposed to the transportation tax, particularly at a time when so many municipalities are struggling to do more with less funding.

Other topics during the discussion included the need for infrastructure improvements within the city.

Kretz said he worries that many towns in the 7th District will all have infrastructure needs all at the same time in the near future, since many systems were installed about the same time in the 1930s.

Mayor Patrick Plumb stressed the importance of shopping at local businesses, to keep tax revenue flowing into the city.

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