The voters in the New Madrid County R-1 School District will be asked to consider two issues November 7th. The first issue for the voters to consider will be to allow the New Madrid County R-1 Board of Education to borrow $8,993,000 for the purpose of providing funds for completing extensive remodeling, renovation, and repairs to the elementary sites at Lilbourn, New Madrid, Matthews and the Central High School.
If the bond issue is approved, it will be repaid with the current 24-cent debt service fund levy. All bonds on the New Madrid County Central Middle School will be paid in full by March 2008. This will allow the district to make improvements without an increase to the debt service levy fund.
The second issue the voters will be asked to consider is to allow the New Madrid County R-1 Board of Education to increase the operating tax levy ceiling by 80 cents. This amount will be phased in over an eight year period at the rate of 10 cents per year in order to provide funds for maintaining the expanded facilities at current locations, hiring and retaining quality staff, and meet the educational needs of the district.
Historically, the district has increased the tax levy over the last 10 years an average of 12 cents per year. I feel even though it is becoming more expensive to operate the district each year, the 10 cents per year (less than the 12-cent average) will allow the district to meet the educational needs of the students.
I would like to remind the voters, both issues must be approved before any improvements occur. The bonds can be repaid without any increase in the 24-cent debt service levy. However, the district cannot commit to the planned improvements without the approval of the tax levy.
Should you have further questions regarding the bond issue and tax levy, please contact me at 688-2161.
R-1 Superintendent of Schools