Campbell voters to decide on $5 million no tax increase bond iss - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Campbell voters to decide on $5 million no tax increase bond issue

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CAMPBELL, MO (KFVS) -

It's a decision many school districts have faced in the last few years: When should taxpayers buy a new school building?

Next week, Campbell voters will decide on a 5 million dollar no tax increase bond issue that would fund a new elementary school.

If Proposition KIDS passes, the current tax would be extended for another 20 years. If it fails, the tax would expire, making taxes decrease in the district.

The superintendent said the current elementary school buildings are about 60 years old and there’s a lot of security concerns like open walkways between buildings.

“Looking at how many windows we have in these classrooms, that’s a major security issue,” Superintendent Jay Thornton said.

Thornton said the current elementary school has a lot of safety concerns.

“Just the proximity of the play ground to the highway,” Thornton said.

They are concerns that weren’t thought of when the school was built back in the 1950s.

“We live in a different world than what we lived in 30 years ago,” Thornton said.

Windows, open walkways, and doors that open to the outside are all things that would change if the district builds a new school.

For some taxpayers, that’s worth the money.

“There’s no tax dollars that I wouldn’t pay to make sure that my child is secure and warm,” Stephanie Kerperien said.

“We have to think about the future of our kids,” Stella Johnson said.

However, some say they’ve been paying long enough and now want taxes to go down.

Others are still unsure.

“I don’t have children or grandchildren here so I really think it’s a little unfair because it’s a lot,” Deloris Cornett said.

Right now, property owners pay $4.03 in total tax to the school district.

“What they’re paying right now is 76 cents on every 100 dollars for debt service and then we also have operating funds which is $3.27,” Thornton said.

If this issue passes, locals would continue to pay that amount for 20 more years, allowing the school to build the new elementary school building.

Thornton said it’s not only school security that’s a concern, but also cramped classroom space along with outdated restroom facilities and heating and air units.

He said a new building would cut down on those upkeep expenses as well.

“It would be impossible to build any new facilities without the bond issue,” Thornton said.

If you have questions or want to see the plans for the new building, there is an open meeting on Wednesday, July 30 at 7 p.m.

If you'd like to join a Facebook group that supports the issue, click here. 

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