Providence Council says unanimous no to school district’s plans

<strong>PROVIDENCE—</strong> Mayor Ronald Liechty was recently informed by Superintendent Steven Norton of Cache County School District’s plans to close Providence Elementary and relocate its students to Spring Creek Middle School.

Tuesday the Providence City Council unanimously approved a resolution asking the Cache County School District to reconsider its plans to vacate Providence Elementary.

“I strongly—and I guess not strong enough—told them that we felt like that would deter from our downtown,” Liechty said. “To take away what we have going with the school would really upset our downtown plans that we have here. I asked if they would reconsider not closing that school. In my opinion he (Norton) laughed at us. Their minds are made up and whatever you tell them, it’s in one ear and out the other. They’ve got the way they’re going to do it and if the bond goes through they’re going to do it, whether we like it or not.”

At the time of Leichty’s conversation with Norton, Norton inquired whether Providence City would be willing to take ownership of the school property should the district’s bond be approved.

Council members are primarily concerned with the vacant area that would be left in the heart of downtown Providence if the elementary school is closed. The space has no foreseen use and residential property taxes would increase dramatically if the city took ownership.

Town hall-type meetings have been conducted by the school board recently in other Cache County communities, Leichty said, but no meeting has been held in Providence yet.

“I guess in the last meeting they stated they had talked to Providence City and that Providence was all aboard for taking that property and accepting that,” Leichty said. “That is not what I thought I left with Mr. Norton at all.”

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