Gallatin County voters consider school levies, transportation and more
Ballots for the May 2nd school and special district election are arriving in the mailboxes of Gallatin County voters.
On Friday, the county sent out more than 63,000 ballots for this all-mail election.
Voters can return their ballots through the mail, but the county says in order to arrive on time they should be sent by Wednesday, April 25. Ballots received by mail after election day will not be counted.
Residents can also drop off their ballot at one of three locations in the county: the Gallatin County Election Office, Monforton School District Office, and the Finance Department at Belgrade City Hall.
Voters also have the option of voting in person at the Gallatin County Elections Office.
If your ballot has been destroyed, spoiled, lost, or not received, replacement ballots are available until 8 p.m. on Election Day.
If you still need to register to vote or update your registration, you have to do so in person at the Gallatin County Election Office before 8 p.m. on Election Day, May 2nd.
ON THE BALLOT
Bozeman School District Voters will decide whether or not to pass three levies that could help the district make up for a $4.1 million shortfall in its general fund.
Mike Waterman is Bozeman Public Schools’ Business Manager. Speaking at a forum in April he said the district wants to reduce pressure on the general fund by funding some positions, including counselors and School Resource Officers, with two safety levies.
“In doing so we’d give the general fund some breathing room and not have to make the other reductions in certified teachers quite so deep,” he said.
Even if the levies pass the district plans to cut 20 K-12 teaching positions. Thirty three would be cut if the levies do not pass, along with gifted program staffing at the elementary school. The K-8 Bozeman Charter School would also close.
The two safety levies along with a $380,000 general fund operating levy for the high school, would generate around $2 million per year. The three levies in total would cost the owner of a home valued at $700,000 around $70 per year.
Bozeman and Belgrade voters will also decide on whether to create an urban transportation district.
Forming an urban transportation district will enable the Streamline bus service to continue receiving federal transportation funding to maintain its current level of service, and to add more routes and stops as future public transportation needs grow.
The proposed UTD will include all of Bozeman and Belgrade and areas between.
Forming an Urban Transportation District will not impact taxpayers.
If the UTD is established, the Board would have authority to ask voters for additional investment through a Mill Levy if deemed appropriate in the future.
A sample ballot can be viewed here.