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Emmett Trustees delay Comprehensive Bond vote until further notice, citing COVID-19 as barrier for adequate community conversations

Emmett School Board of Trustees unanimously agreed March 25 to delay the proposed  $62.5 million comprehensive bond until further notice.

 Although trustees agreed March 18 to place the bond question on the May 19 primary ballot, recent COVID-19 developments prompted school district leaders to rethink the timing.

 “It became evident this week as rules regarding gatherings and social distancing rolled out in response to COVID-19,” Superintendent Craig Woods said. “Just as the Emmett School District and Yes Committee are ready to organize community gatherings and Town Hall meetings, we could see major barriers for adequate community conversations.”

 Woods said it is still early enough in the primary preparation process to have the proposed bond removed from the ballot.

 “We believe this comprehensive, long-term facilities plan is the right plan,” Board Chairman Hoss White said. “However, in light of the constantly changing circumstances around COVID-19 and the effect it is having on school closures, the economy, and the ability to meet with and inform our community, the board and superintendent feel that it is in the best interest of all concerned to postpone the bond vote to a later date.”

Trustee Ross Walker added a bit of levity to the special board meeting, suggesting that the board is “not putting the bond on the shelf, but rather the refrigerator” because it is an important matter that needs to remain in the forefront as the community copes with the “new normal.”

 

Woods was authorized March 18 to negotiate with landowners Denny and Willean White (no relation to Trustee Chair Hoss White) to purchase 42 acres, located at the corner of E 4th Street and S Substation Road, for the new high school if the bond measure had passed in May.

 

Woods said he is hopeful the sellers will be willing to work with the Emmett School District to put the property sale on hold until an election is held