SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - A big issue on the ballot in Sikeston on Tuesday is a $32 million bond issue that would improve schools and help keep students safe, but is it worth it to taxpayers? Some locals say it is. However others say the price tag is just too high.
Co-chairman of the Build Better Schools Committee Rick Adams says the plans have been in the works for years.
"It's something that has been talked about for the past decade, decade and a half in Sikeston," Adams said.
Pete Burns is also a co-chairman. He says it's an investment into the future of the community.
"We are building these buildings for our kids," Burns said.
Burns and Adams say the increase in property tax is worth giving students a better place to learn.
"I think the primary purpose is to bring our schools in the 21st century," Adams said.
The bond would pay for a new first and second grade center, a new third and fourth grade center, an additional high school building, and a kindergarten multi-purpose building. The facilities would also include safe rooms for students to go during severe weather.
It is a lot of new buildings and additions at once. Pete Leija says it's too much, too soon.
"I think there are several ways that this could be handled besides without just all of the sudden throwing together #$32 million," Leija said.
He is the mayor of Morehouse. He says it's too much for people to afford.
"There are a lot of people out there, a lot of people in this community who cannot afford to be paying any more taxes at this time," Leija said.
How much you would pay depends on the value of your home. If you own a $125,000 home, it would cost about $15 per month. If you own a $75,000 home, it's about $9 per month.
Sharon Ferrell is a grandmother of four. She says it's worth it to her.
"These schools are old and they have too many doors and I think for safety all around, it's really important that we re-do these schools," Ferrell said.
Administrators say the new buildings would give kids more safety and more space. At about 3 p.m. every day, school officials say there is a lot of traffic congestion around schools as parents come to pick up their kids.
"It's this way every day, we come 35, 40 minutes early to get them out." Ferrell said.
That's one of the many things that would change under the new plans.
"The new buildings would be an asset to our student achievement and learning," Superintendent Tom Williams said.
On Tuesday, no matter your opinion, it's your turn to speak out.
"If you don't think this is right, or this is too high of a tax structure for you, you need to get out and vote," Leija said.
"I would encourage everyone to go vote. So many people don't go vote, and we really need these new schools," Ferrell said.
Superintendent Williams says Sikeston Schools now have more than 3,400 students.
For more information on other issues on the ballot, visit heartlandvotes.com