2022 Levy: Spotlight on Athletic Field Lighting Upgrades
Two Ephrata School District levies will be up for voter consideration on the November ballot. If approved, one of the projects funded will be new field lighting at Ephrata sports complexes.
Ephrata Schools discovered an issue with athletic field lighting during the summer of 2022 when the wooden poles and lights were replaced on Ephrata High School’s Kiwanis Football Field. The project began as a means of upgrading light fixtures that have been discontinued, are inefficient and are no longer supported when issues occur. When Grant PUD helped remove the old light poles, they found them to be rotten at their core, which also made the poles a significant safety hazard.
This discovery led to questions about the rest of Ephrata’s field lighting. Lights on Ephrata’s other sports complexes are newer than those at Kiwanis field but were installed on used power poles to save costs. In addition, they have the disadvantage of having their wooden poles placed in irrigated grass, instead of the dirt at the football complex.
“We need to do our due diligence to ensure the safety of our students and fans,” said Bryan Johnson, EHS Athletic Director. “Levy funds will help pay for a portion of the costs to replace lighting at our baseball, softball and soccer complexes. In addition to safety and energy efficiency measures, these upgrades will also enhance the playing and fan experiences. We’ll be able to see more clearly, play later into the evenings and provide light to features like our batting cages and practice fields, which haven’t been lit before.”
Ephrata residents can see the new football lights in action this weekend when the Tigers take on the Selah Vikings at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7. It is Homecoming weekend for the Tigers.
Learn More About the November Levies:
In 2018, Ephrata Schools made a commitment to keep school bonds and levy taxes close to $4.70 per $1,000 of assessed value. Tax rates will remain at this threshold with the approval of these two measures. Taxpayers will pay a total of $4.72 in 2023 and $4.69 in 2024. The district anticipates running a bond in 2026 or 2027 that will fund a remodel to the high school, as well as much needed new square footage.That initiative, which has yet to be developed, will keep tax rates near the $4.70 threshold in subsequent years. Learn More About the 2022 Levies