Paragould School District finalizes millage increase proposal

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The Paragould School District school board voted Monday night  to ask district patrons for a 4.95 millage increase.  The decision by the board comes several months after planning for additions, renovations and conversions of space throughout the district.

The total cost of the project is expected to be around 21 million dollars.  Changes include a new primary school, a sizable addition to Oak Grove Middle School and renovations to 3 elementary schools and the high school.  State awarded grant money will pay for about 7 point 8 million dollars of the total cost.

The district will be responsible for the remaining roughly 13 million dollars.  School officials say during the process of determining the districts needs and planning for this grant partnership program, they took into consideration the overcrowded conditions at all of the schools, enrollment projections, evaluation of existing conditions and evaluations of strengths.

District leaders say now is the time to start educating patrons and answering questions about the need for this increase.

"We see that a lot of our classrooms are just absolutely full and we're trying to give additional educational opportunities to our children by expanding.   This is for the children and we're excited," said Paragould School Board member, Ron Kingston.

"We'll construct the buildings, we'll equip the buildings, and also take into consideration something that's also very important, that's additional costs that will be incurred with opening two new buildings--utilities, maintenance and operations, personnel and other issues," said Superintendent, Dr. Aaron Hosman.

The vote regarding the proposed millage increase will go before voters on September 21st.  Dr. Hosman says there will be a number of opportunities to get questions answered about the proposed increase over the next several weeks, including public meetings.

Dr. Hosman says if the proposed millage increase passes, it would be an addition of 99 dollars a year for every 100 thousand dollars of real estate.  There is also a website set up to answer questions and allow patrons to submit questions as well.

Click on the "for more information" link on the side of this story.

©2010 KAIT All rights reserved.