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Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015

Voters cast ballots in favor of issues

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

(Photo)
Although the front of the gymnasium building at Pierce City High School is changing this week with the addition of a music and fine arts wing, covering the south door, shown above, additional construction was nixed by voters who did not provide a four-sevenths majority for the $3.9 million bond issue on yesterday's ballot. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Voters were favorable toward money issues placed on the ballot yesterday, though the hard fought Pierce City school bond failed despite getting a majority of votes.

An unusually heavy voter turnout by patrons in the Pierce City R-6 School District responded to the second attempt this year to pass a school bond issue. Voters were asked to authorize $3.9 million in bonds to pay for construction of a new middle school and a vocational agriculture building. Bonds would have also financed a vo-ag classroom and shop on the east side of the high school gym.

Voters got behind the initiative with 498 votes cast in favor of the issue and 483 against. This equated to a 51 percent majority compared to 41 percent in the first attempt to pass the bond in April. However, the total was not enough to secure a 57 percent majority necessary for bond issue passage.

Voter turnout was 12 percent higher than in the April election. Lawrence County voters proved pivotal, turning against the proposal 338-370. Barry County voters supported it 71-40. Newton County voters in Wentworth backed the proposal 89-73.

Voters in the Verona R-7 School District got solidly behind a $500,000 no-tax increase bond issue to finance the demolition of the district's old high school and the construction and equipping of new locker rooms and physical conditioning facilities.

Verona voters passed the proposal 119 in favor to 55 against, a favorable margin of 68 percent. Lawrence County voters backed the proposition by a two-to-one margin, 103-50, while Barry County voters supported the plan three-to-one, voting 16 in favor to five against.

Bond money will also be used to complete disability improvements to the district's existing school facilities in order to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and other facility improvement projects.

In Purdy, a light voter turnout proved supportive in shifting one of the city's two one-cent sales taxes into two half-cent taxes to eliminate the "stacked tax" issue that prompted a lawsuit by Farmington attorney Thomas Burcham.

Voters agreed to take one of the two taxes the city had for the general fund and make half of it into a tax to pay for street maintenance. Support was 36 in favor and 7 opposed, a majority of 84 percent.

Likewise, voters backed turning the second half of the tax into a half-cent tax to pay for capital improvements. The measure passed 34-9 with 80 percent support.

Aurora voters handily reauthorized a half-cent sales tax for street maintenance, this time making it permanent. The proposition passed 312-38 with 89 percent support. The margin of support was strong in all three Aurora precincts.



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