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YES Committee promotes bond issue

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The Yes Committee met last night at the Sunnyside High School auditorium to discuss ways to help the proposed $1.95 million bond pass. Sitting on the stage are (L-R) Jim Sleater, campaign manager for the committee, Steve Winfree, chair of the committee, and Sunnyside School District Superintendent Rick Cole.
   

Sunnyside's Yes Committee met last night for the first time and heard details of the proposed bond the committee is drumming up support for, the different subcommittees needed and picked a slogan for their efforts.

Improve facilities, increase safety, vote yes!

Sunnyside students need safe places to perform, to compete, to succeed. Vote Yes!

That is the slogan the committee decided to go with at last night's meeting.

The committee is hoping to increase the odds that the $1.95 million bond for improvements to the high school's auditorium and the bleachers at the football field will pass.

The election date is March 13 and all voting will be done by mail.

The bond proposes a 14¢ per $1,000 assessment on property taxes to fund the improvements. That would increase a home owner's property tax on a $100,000 home by $14. Currently the tax rate in Sunnyside is $1.46, the second lowest tax rate in Yakima County. If the bond passes, that tax rate would increase to $1.60, still the second lowest tax rate in Yakima County.

The proposed improvements include:

• New bleachers for Clem Senn Field.

• Improved parking for Clem Senn Field.

• Additional bathrooms.

• Additional lighting for the football field.

• Additional fencing.

• High school auditorium improvements for drama and music.

• A new public address system for Clem Senn Field.

• Resurface the existing track.

Sunnyside School District Superintendent Rick Cole told the committee last May a $3.9 million bond failed. That bond would have supported a comprehensive upgrade to the high school's outdoor facilities.

Since it failed, the new bond has been scaled back by $2 million and will focus on the stadium seating and lighting and sound improvements to the auditorium in the high school.

Cole said the school district plans to pay back the bond within 18 years.

A committee member asked Cole if there would be bleachers around the track. He said there would be some small bleachers put in with a seating capacity of 200-300. The field inside the current track will be used for junior varsity and middle school games and the bleachers will accommodate those wanting to watch.

Committee chairman Steve Winfree said these facilities are used more than people realize, especially the auditorium.

It was suggested that the committee ask for help from the people that use the facilities, i.e.. AAU and the various drama groups that use the auditorium.

Several sub-committees were organized and people signed up for them. They include the yard sign committee. These people will order yard signs, develop a list of locations and assemble and place them in yards.

The doorbell committee will distribute brochures and fliers before the election.

The reader board committee will produce a list of supportive locations and develop a timeline with messages for the community.

The presentations committee will schedule different presentations to give to groups in the community.

A voters committee will distribute information on registration and absentee voting.

The finance committee will develop a budget, target support groups and seek contributions.

The committee is expecting to raise and spend approximately $3,000.

The media committee will develop ads for radio and newsprint.

Approximately 25 people were at the meeting last night with many more already committed. Still, the committee is looking for all the volunteers they can get.

The committee will meet Tuesday, Jan. 23, in the basement of the Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District building, from 6 to 8 p.m. The committee plans on meeting every Tuesday until the election.

For more information on how to join or help the Yes Committee, call Jim Sleater at 837-8312.

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