By MURRAY BISHOFF and LINDSAY REED
Voters were generally negative toward big money issues in a year with a weak economy.
No where was that more in evidence than in the Pierce City R-6 School District. The Board of Education was seeking a 23 percent tax increase to build a new high school. The package went to voters as a $3.5 million bond issue, raising the property tax levy by 33 cents per $100 of assessed property, and a lease-purchase, adding another 45 cents on $100 of property.
Voters gave the bond issue 41 percent support, 359 in favor (251 Lawrence County, 42 Barry County, 66 Newton County). Opposition garnered 513 votes (405 Lawrence, 43, Barry, 65 Newton).
The lease purchase received only 38 percent support with 328 votes (226 Lawrence, 44 Barry, 58 Newton). Opposed were 537 (426 Lawrence, 41 Barry, 70 Newton).
Aurora voters had similar sentiments for the $3.1 million proposal to build a community water park. Backing the proposal was 434 votes or 40 percent, compared to 653 against.
In contrast, Wheaton voters overwhelmingly approved a $1.2 million bond issue that will finance a drinking water system improvement project. The issue received 59 "yes" votes and 10 "no" votes.
In a rare move, not all the proposals to extend additional tax levies for road districts in the bi-county area won approval. The Sugar Creek Special Road District lost its 13-cent tax levy extension when the "yes" votes of 62 were outdistanced by 74 "no" votes.
Elsewhere in Barry County, the Exeter Road District's 13-cent levy got another four years by a vote of 91-60.
In Lawrence County, the Green Benefit Special Road District got its 22-cent levy approved 39-21. The Vineyard Special Road District won another four years on its 22-cent levy by a margin on 8-2.
The 19-cent levy for the Pierce Benefit Special Road District was reauthorized 342-146. The Aurora Special Road District got its 17-cent levy back on the books by a margin on 845-349.
Voters in Stotts City agreed to create their own municipal police department and authorized their city council to appoint a police chief by a vote of 26-9.
Voters in the Barry County Public Supply District #2 in the Crestwood West area in Shell Knob authorized a $575,000 bond issue to acquire, construct, extend and improve the subdivision's wastewater system by a wide margin. The proposal gained 87 percent approval on a vote of 26 "yes" and 4 "no."