By an unofficial tally Tuesday night, Boonville voters overwhelmingly approved both a property tax hike and no-tax bond issue to increase funding for the Boonville R-1 School District.
The Boonville R-1 School district will get a new influx of funds to pay for building repairs and raise teacher salaries after voters approved a property tax hike and no-tax bond issue Tuesday.
Proposition 2, approved by a vote of 82-18, allows the district to borrow $9 million by issuing bonds. It’s expected to be a no-tax bond, meaning the district doesn’t expect to have to raise the property tax levy to pay off its debt. Money from bond issues can only be used for capital improvements.
The district will use bonds to fund projects like replacing roofs at Boonville High School, Boonslick Technical Education Center, Laura Speed Elliott Middle School, and David Barton Elementary School. The district also plans to upgrade science labs at the high school and middle school, and build an addition to connect the high school to the B-Tec, among other improvements.
Boonville teachers are among the lowest-paid in the area, but raises are a top priority for the district with the funds from the 49-cent property tax hike voters approved 71-29 on Tuesday. The district will also look to hire a school resource officer, who would be paid by the district, but technically be employed by the Boonville Police Department.
Boonville Superintendent Dr. Sarah Marriott said she was thankful for the community’s support and that the district is excited.
“We very much value the commitment and voice of the community,” Marriott said. “The support to the students is instrumental.”
Though the measures passed by wide margins, Marriott said she knows not everyone was in favor of higher taxes. The district will do its best to be transparent with the taxpayer money generated by the levy, and the bond funds, she said.
The district has already started HVAC repairs at Hannah Cole, and school board will be meeting with the architect and general contractor the district has been working with to finalize plans for the projects it wants to do with the bond funds next week. The board will review the options at its April meeting, Marriott said.
It will also approve the bond issue so the district can move forward with the bonding agency. The bonds should start selling in May or June, and the first proceeds would come in over the summer, Marriott said.
The board will also discuss raising pay for teachers and staff. The raises will be in phases, so there won’t be a huge jump at once, but the district wants to give some raise starting next school year, Marriott said.
The turnout was higher than expected, Marriott said. An unofficial total of 21.7 percent of registered voters in Boonville made it to the polls on Tuesday.
“That speaks volumes for the support for our students,” Marriott said.
Voters in Boonville’s First Ward elected to keep Michael Stock as one of their two representatives on the Boonville City Council by a vote of 79-20 over challenger Charissa Mayes. Stock will return along with Second Ward council member Vanessa Dorman, Third Ward council member Whitney Venable and Fourth Ward council member Morris Carter, who all ran unopposed.
Joni Schupp and Jennifer Krumm will serve three years on the Pilot Grove C-4 School District Board of Directors after earning 35 and 25 percent of the vote. Cydney Mayfield, Bradley Wayne Vollmer and Earl Haller also ran for the two open seats. Haller is the closest runner-up with 21 percent of the vote.
Donna Bader and Sandra Meisenheimer will each serve two years on the Pilot Grove City Council after receiving 41 and 39 percent of the vote. Patrick Skain also ran for one of the two open seats and received 19 percent of the vote.
Will Simmons and Patrick Twenter will serve three years on the Prairie Home R-V School District Board of Directors after receiving 44 and 37 percent of the vote. Steven McDannold also ran for one of the two open seats, and received 14 percent of the vote.
Several elections in Cooper County were uncontested:
James Gann and Steve Litwiller will both return to the Boonville Board of Education.
Jenny Alpers, Karen Myers and Maeola Rowles will all return to the Board of Trustees for the Village of Windsor Place.
Kelly Murphy and Colleen Boorn will fill two of three open seats on the Board of Trustees for the Village of Wooldridge.
Tanner Fahrendorf and Richard Wilson will fill the two open seats on the Blackwater City Council.
Mamie Vollmer will represent the East Ward on the Bunceton City Council, and Theresa Bell will represent the West Ward.
Dennis Knipp will serve as mayor of Pilot Grove.
Donald Lohse will serve as mayor of Prairie Home.
Eric Kirschman will represent the East Ward on the Prairie Home Board of Alderman, and Donald Dietzel will represent the West Ward.