Cedar Ridge, Batesville millage proposals defeated during specia - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Cedar Ridge, Batesville millage proposals defeated during special election

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) – Two millage proposals were defeated during special elections in Independence County. 

Cedar Ridge and Batesville were each asking voters to raise taxes so that they can step up security on their respective campuses.

The Batesville millage proposal was defeated by a landslide. 151 residents voted for the increase, while 851 voted against it. 

In the Cedar Ridge School District, the millage increase was also defeated. We're told 111 voters voted for the increase, while 239 voted against it. 

Voters in both districts seemed to support the idea of making the districts safer, but some are unsure why taxes need to be raised to do so.

"I'm anxious to see how the vote does go," said Cedar Ridge Superintendent Dr. Ann Webb.

Dr. Webb was hopeful that voters would have approved the proposal to raise the local property tax rate by an additional one mill.

"I'm always optimistic that the people will vote for safety and security, especially where students are concerned," she said.

Dr. Webb proposed raising the district's millage from 38.2 to 39.2. The extra revenue would have generated about $142,000 each year and would allow the district to staff two-full time resource officers and install more security equipment.

"I really would love to have panic buttons, at least two, in every school and one at every school secretary's desk," Dr. Webb said, "so that that would have a direct link to the [Independence County] Sheriff's Office in case anyone should come in and there should be a dangerous or a violent situation."

She says she'd be unable to make these upgrades without the millage increase because she's about to stretch the school budget to pay for new technology.

"I can cut back in some other areas, but every time I cut back that means that our students lose out," Dr. Webb said. "We really need more technology because the Common Core is here, and we are going to start testing on computers in the future."

Robert Marshall of Newark kept budget concerns like this in mind when he decided to vote against the proposal.

"I feel we need to look the situation over and be more conservative with our spending," Marshall said.

Voters in the Batesville School District weighed some of the same concerns.

"I don't think anyone is out there saying we shouldn't do these things," Batesville Superintendent Dr. Randy Willison said. "I think it's more of a matter of saying are they willing to support a tax increase or not?"

Dr. Willison wanted voters to pass a 1.25-mill increase so that his district's millage would go from 38.75 to an even 40.  He says that would help pay for new security measures, like manning each campus with a resource officer.

"We're certainly taking every [safety] precaution we can," he said, "but we can do better and that's what we're trying to do."

Several voters said off-camera Tuesday that they opposed the proposal to avoid paying higher taxes, but Laura Rumans of Batesville said she could see the benefit.

"We can't control everything in life," Rumans said, "but I just feel like this is one step in the right direction."

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Crews work to restore power to residents following overnight storm damage

    Crews work to restore power to residents following overnight storm damage

    Saturday, March 25 2017 11:28 AM EDT2017-03-25 15:28:38 GMT
    Saturday, March 25 2017 3:55 PM EDT2017-03-25 19:55:56 GMT
    (Source: Craighead Electric Cooperative Facebook Page)(Source: Craighead Electric Cooperative Facebook Page)

    Several residents affected by overnight storms may have to wait a while before their power is restored.

    Several residents affected by overnight storms may have to wait a while before their power is restored.

  • City incinerator cut off following early morning storm damage

    City incinerator cut off following early morning storm damage

    Saturday, March 25 2017 10:37 AM EDT2017-03-25 14:37:51 GMT
    Saturday, March 25 2017 3:54 PM EDT2017-03-25 19:54:49 GMT
    (Source: Bill Campbell)(Source: Bill Campbell)

    The city of Jonesboro announced Saturday morning that access to the city's incinerator has been cut off in the wake of storms that rolled through the area.

    The city of Jonesboro announced Saturday morning that access to the city's incinerator has been cut off in the wake of storms that rolled through the area.

  • New business comes to Bono

    New business comes to Bono

    Friday, March 24 2017 11:38 PM EDT2017-03-25 03:38:07 GMT
    Friday, March 24 2017 11:45 PM EDT2017-03-25 03:45:53 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    One-third of the Jim Co Factory building in Bono will now be used as another factory, bring six to eight jobs to the city.

    One-third of the Jim Co Factory building in Bono will now be used as another factory, bring six to eight jobs to the city.

Powered by Frankly