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Special election date set, will decide millage increase in Pocahontas

Election to decide potential millage increase for new high school
Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 6:57 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2021 at 8:03 PM CDT
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POCAHONTAS, Ark. (KAIT) - A special election to decide a millage increase will be held on Sept. 14.

The proposal increases the millage rate in the district by 3.44 mills with the goal of building a new high school., the same amount the board tried to pass in the special election in September of 2020. The vote failed by 37 votes.

Even with voters deciding not to pass the increase, the board decided to keep the plan the same.

The proposal last year came with controversy, centered around the Old Rock Building at the current Pocahontas High School.

New Superintendent Lesa Grooms said COVID-19 prevented them from going out in the community to spread the word about what the millage increase would do.

Now, she hopes the proposal will pass so the district can build a new high school.

Supt. Grooms says there have been tons of discussions in the board about the plan since she took over as superintendent in July.

Grooms says with the rise in construction costs, the millage increase was where it needed to be.

“We have tried to make sure that we can get the best for our patrons,” Grooms said. “We want to be fiscally responsible and do the best for them and our students.”

Grooms said a new high school is desperately needed in the district.

The former Pocahontas High principal added that science labs had to be turned into classrooms because they did not have space for students.

Pocahontas got over $9 million from the state to help build the potential high school. Grooms said if the proposal doesn’t pass this time, they could lose that funding.

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