‘Elated’: Salmon celebrates successful school bond

A group of Salmon residents gathered Tuesday night to await the results of a high-stakes ballot measure — a $20 million bond for a new K-8 grade school building.

“We were on pins and needles until they posted the results,” said Breann Green, a member of the Salmon Schools Needs Assessment Committee, “then, truly, super happy.”

The community-led committee worked for years to come up with a variety of funding sources to replace Salmon’s aged and crumbling Pioneer Elementary, and the bond is the biggest piece of the puzzle.

Tuesday’s successful measure, which passed with 71.5% support, breaks a 12-time streak of bond failures in Salmon. It needed 2,082 “yes” votes to reach the required 66.7% supermajority and, ultimately, had 151 to spare.

“Even if it was one vote, that was all we really cared about,” Green told Idaho Education News Thursday.

Those closely watching the election celebrated the successful measure on social media.

“So proud and inspired by our community!” Amy Davis Fealko wrote on Facebook. “Excited for Salmon’s future K-8 school!”

Judy Brostrom commented, “I am proud of you all, and the voters, who ignored the usual, tired rhetoric.”

Rep. Rod Furniss, R-Rigby, who represents Salmon in the Idaho House, simply posted “Good job!”

Furniss later told EdNews that he’s “elated.”

“That was a community effort that was so good, and those people tried so hard, so many times to pass a bond,” he said. “It’s just a milestone and a tribute to the community there.”

There’s still work to do, however. The bond covers most of the $29 million estimate for a new school. The balance will come from fundraising, including donations and real estate sales.

“It’s seriously a shoestring budget that we are still actively working on,” Green said.

Keep an eye on IdahoEdNews.org next week for more in-depth coverage of Salmon’s grassroots fundraising effort.

Ryan Suppe

Ryan Suppe

Senior reporter Ryan Suppe covers education policy, focusing on K-12 schools. He previously reported on state politics, local government and business for newspapers in the Treasure Valley and Eastern Idaho. A Nevada native, Ryan enjoys golf, skiing and movies. Follow him on Twitter: @ryansuppe. Contact him at [email protected]

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