A strong community requires good schools

Sunday, September 29, 2019
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Guest Opinion

First for the purpose of full disclosure I want everyone to know that Kathy Green and I are friends. I have known Kathy and her cousin Frank Crisafulli for over 60 years. We attended Elementary and High school together here in Glendive. Although Kathy is a lot younger than me.

Another thing we have in common is that we all got to attend brand new schools. In Elementary we attended Sacred Heart Grade School together. Built in 1953 it opened just in time for me to go to all 8 grades in a brand-new school. Who helped pay for it? Kathy’s mom and dad, Frank’s mom and dad, my mom and dad and all the rest of Sacred Heart Parish even if they didn’t have kids in school.

Then we moved up to DCHS for our High School years. And I am proud to say I was a member of the Class of 1964. The first class to graduate from the brand-new High School. Who helped pay for it? Kathy’s mom and dad, Frank’s mom and dad, my mom and dad and all the tax payers that lived in the High School District. That also included businesses like BNSF Railroad, Mid-Rivers Communications, M.D.U Resources and Crisafulli Pumps. Kathy is correct when she pointed out that the 10 or 15 largest Corporations and Businesses in Dawson County will be paying for almost half our new school. These same Businesses are helping with new schools in every Community in Montana that is building one. Why not add Glendive to that list.

These large taxpayers also value a Community with a great Educational presence. Just look at the thousands of dollars BNSF, MDU Resources and Mid-Rivers donate annually to schools and give out in scholarships. Doesn’t look to me like they are against new schools and a great educational system.

When they are trying to recruit new hires and employees to Glendive or any other locations they do business in, the main things these people look at are; Does it have a new and modern Medical Facility, Does it have New Schools and a good Educational System, Does it have recreational opportunities and a friendly, caring community to raise our children in. Let’s keep attracting the new, young families to Glendive. The businesses we have in town now want to see Glendive continue to grow, not with just the next oil boom.

Should we let the 83 million number scare us? That is principal and interest over the next 20 years. The question is just like buying a home. Can you afford the monthly payment? The Bank gave me an amortized payment schedule when I bought my first home. The principal and interest over the 30-year mortgage showed I was paying for my house 2 1/2 times. The Bank just wanted me to make the monthly payment. If the Elementary Bond passes my monthly payment will be $49.98 If the High School Bond passes my monthly payment will be $26.28. I think the youth and school kids in Glendive are worth it.

A fact that Frank pointed out was the cost of our Wastewater Treatment Facility. It was first estimated at 10–12 million dollars. By the time the Engineers and Architects got it designed and out for bids it was up to 18 million. That is how fast the costs of construction are going up. Let’s build that new school now before the cost goes up another 10 million dollars.

Join me in supporting our Youth, our Schools and our Community. Vote yes for the School Bonds. It’s our chance to show “We Believe in Glendive”.

Jerry Jimison is the mayor of Glendive. He can be reached at mayor@midrivers.com.