To the editor:
I have been through district budget shortfalls and understand the need to make necessary budget reductions. However, voting "yes" to renew the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy on Feb. 5 is the right thing for our community. The PPEL fund is one of the main sources used to provide equipment, technology, building repairs and general upkeep. From 2004 to 2012, district maintenance staff using PPEL funds completed 9,992 documented work orders.
If you are interested, it is not hard to see how this fund is being used. Take a drive or a walk to any school building and you will find well maintained buildings, safe sidewalks, roofs that have been replaced at Cooper, Feelhaver, central offices and the Senior High. Completed window and door replacement projects at Cooper and the Senior High. New boilers at the Senior High, Cooper and Riverside. When you attend events at any building and park your car, that parking lot was repaired or replaced by funds from the PPEL. As you enter any building make sure that you notice the paint on the walls, the wax on the floors and the cleaners and disinfectants, because those are some of the things that we all take for granted, but they are all paid for by the PPEL. Every day approximately 1,450 public and parochial students travel on community owned school buses. All 38 school buses owned by the district were purchased by the PPEL including all of the general repairs and upkeep for this fleet of vehicles. After every snow storm the sanders, tractors, trucks and snow blades used to clear parking lots, playgrounds and sidewalks at every school building were also funded by the PPEL.
Student achievement, student and staff morale can be directly affected by the physical condition of the school building. Lighting, heating, acoustics, air quality, etc., along with building cleanliness, are vital components to the welfare and academic progress of every student.
I am voting "yes" for the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy on Feb. 5 because the PPEL is a critical component for determining the replacement and maintenance schedules for the Fort Dodge Community School District. Please join me with a "yes" vote. I can assure you that our community school district needs the PPEL and will continue to use this fund in the best interest of our students and their education.