Bond issues for two lake area school districts sailed to an easy victories with widespread support. Those district saw better than a 60 percent voter approval rate in Tuesday night's election. Students in Climax Springs did not fare as well as their counterparts in Camdenton and School of the Osage.
While that's good news for the Camdenton and School of the Osage districts where voters overwhelmingly approved bond issues for major projects in each district.
Camdenton School District voters passed the bond issue by 65 percent with 2,981 in favor of the measure. Nearly 35 percent or 1,536 voters said no.
Superintendent Tim Hadfield said he felt Tuesday night's election "was very reflective of our community support for our kids."
"I would just like to thank our patrons for the consideration of the kids not only now but of the future. The passage of this issue will help the meet of kids down the road," he said. "I think this is a win for our children."
The measure passed by 63.9 percent of the votes cast in the School of the Osage District with 1,079 in favor and 690 opposed.
"We are very very excited and happy for our kids. This is a great project. We are ecstatic and appreciative of our photos. We are very blessed to be in a school district where our constituents are supportive of education," Osage Superintendent Brent Depeé said.
Supporters of the bond issue were consciously optimistic the whole time, he said.
"Celebrating the old and remembering the old and looking to the future, that'swhat this is all about," he said. "It just worked really well. It's need to see multiple generations working together. It was a pleasurable campaign."
The news was not so good for the Climax Springs District where voters turned down not one but two proposals for new and or renovated facilities. There were two proposals on Tuesday's ballot. Proposition A would have allowed the district to build a new facility. Proposition B would have given the district the ability to renovate the existing facilities.
Voters overwhelmingly defeated both proposals leaving the district with few options for deteriorating facilities.
The question the Climax Springs District will now have to answer is what happens next. Without the funds from the bond issues, the district may have to make some tough choices.
Tuesday night's election marks the third time in three years voters have said no to much-needed improvements for the district.
Yet a petition circulated last winter to try to dissolve the district failed to get enough signatures to be placed on the ballot. A structural audit of the school found multiple life safety and building code issues as well as major and minor building issues. The audit stated that the facility "does not provide safety to its occupants."
Page 2 of 2 - Camdenton R-III School District, however, will be seeing construction soon with the approval of the $43 million bond issue to build a new Osage Beach Elementary, a major renovation and expansion of Hurricane Deck Elementary, security upgrades to existing buildings and a refinance of existing lease purchase certificates from the construction of the high school. With the district funding the issue by moving a portion of its operating levy into debt service, the bonds won't raise taxes. The $35 million improvement to the elementary facilities promised equality across the district in addition to alleviating overcrowding.
The School of the Osage bond issue addresses pre-k to second grade overcrowding at the Mills Elementary School, security improvements to existing schools and updating of the high school science labs.
The current school tax rate is $2.72, the lowest in the state. The bond asks for a 12.9-cent increase, which would bring the new rate to $2.849, which is still less than surrounding communities. On average, a property with a $100,000 assessed value will have a $24.51 annual increase in taxes.
The bond issue will fund a 24-classroom elementary school addition to the Heritage Building, as well as renovations and improvements to the existing Heritage Building and campus. The elementary school addition will increase the number and size of classrooms and provide technology needed for current teaching methods. Construction plans include elevator and ADA access, and energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling. The Heritage campus will benefit with improved parent and bus drop-off and pickup, increased and improved parking and improved security and safety measures.