School puts upgrades on hold after failed millage increase

What Is Next After Millage Fails Vote

HIGHLAND, Ark. (KAIT) - A Region 8 school is planning for what’s next, after a vote for a millage increase failed.

Highland School District held a special election Aug. 13, to try and add four mills to their current millage rate.

It would have put the district’s millage rate at 34, which is still in the lowest 20% for property taxes in the state.

Voters chose not to pass that increase, which means a lot of upgrades and add-ons planned for the school are put on hold.

Superintendent Don Sharp said some of these were necessary, including new security upgrades and improvements to the elementary school.

“It’s got the original flat roof on it basically and you know they don’t put flat roofs on school buildings anymore," said Sharp. "So we’re looking at a standing seam metal roof to replace the one that’s on there, our windows are the original ones that were installed when the building was built back in the 60′s.”

The school also hoped to add classrooms to the elementary school, build a new bus garage, and build a new auditorium and performing arts center.

Sharp said the district considered the new safety improvements to be a critical need for the schools.

“In this day and time, unfortunately, that’s something we have to think of every day is people’s access to our buildings and are we doing everything we can to keep our students and our staff as safe as possible,” said Sharp.

The next time the school will be allowed to propose another millage vote is in the 2020 calendar year.

Sharp said the next step is to talk with community members and find out why they chose to vote no on the increase.

The school board hasn’t met since the vote, but they will decide soon if they will bring the millage issue back up in 2020.

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