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Blackfoot School District asks for $2 million

On Thursday night, Blackfoot School District 55 board members voted to ask patrons for nearly $2 million in an upcoming levy election.

The vote comes only weeks after the board admitted to keeping secret a $220,000 payout to former Superintendent Scott Crane.

The finance committee tasked with recommending the need for the $1,975,000 levy made some specific recommendations to the board before the vote Thursday.

The committee determined the district will need the $2 million levy over the next 2 years in order to educate district students at the same level they are now.

The committee recommended the district should only ask voters for the levy with the promise they will place the money in a separate bank account and have oversight by a third-party financial manager.

Our station asked board trustee Taylor Johansen if he was worried the extra oversight of the funds would be enough for patrons to vote for a new levy.

“I’m not concerned about that,” said Johansen. “I want the community to have as much openness and faith in the board as they can get. I want us to be able to do all we can for them to feel like they’ve got the faith and the honesty they feel like they need.”

The levy will go to voters in Blackfoot on March 12.

Only time will tell if the news surrounding Crane’s buyout this year was enough to affect a levy election.

The Thursday night meeting only lasted 15 minutes, and there was no public comment, even though the public was invited.

Crane’s contract will be the topic of the board’s next meeting on Jan. 17 at 6 p.m.

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