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R-6 bond issue passes

Posted Date: 06/15/2020

Credit: Standard Democrat

BENTON, Mo. — The Sikeston R-6 School District will soon upgrade its facilities.

In a total vote of 1,714 to 1,213, Sikeston R-6 voters approved the $18.6-million bond proposal to construct a new Lee Hunter Elementary and a new “C” Building on the senior high school campus. Scott County votes were 1,470 “yes” votes and 966 “no” votes, and New Madrid County votes were 244 “yes” votes and 247 “no” votes.

With the voters’ approval, the district’s debt service levy will increase 42 cents — from 21 cents to 63 cents per hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property, and the tax impact to R-6 residents would be an 11 percent increase in the overall school tax levy.

However, with Tuesday’s approval, taxpayers will not see an increase in their tax levies until 2021. The R-6 Board of Education and administration agreed last month to defer the debt levy increase until 2021 due to the impact COVID-19 has had on the community.

Several members of the Better Schools Better Communities bond committee as well as bond supporters turned out at the Scott County Courthouse in Benton after the polls closed Tuesday to hear the results in person.

“I want to thank the Sikeston R-6 voters and all the volunteers who assisted in getting the story out,” said Katie Merideth, co-chair of the Better Schools Better Communities committee. “The community is moving forward and sees the value of the R-6 District to the future of its children and community.

She continued: “Improved safety, security, enhanced technology and expanded learning spaces are on the way. Over the past months, it has been difficult for everyone and their families, but the voters saw this long-term opportunity.”

Sikeston R-6 Superintendent Dr. Tony Robinson was also at the courthouse to hear the results firsthand.

“I am so thankful for the community members that supported this,” Robinson said after learning the issue passed. “I’m so thankful for our bond committee chairs, Katie Merideth and Cooper McKelvey, and our consultant Felecia Blanton, all of our administrators and teachers who went out and supported this and showed how much we needed this for our kids and our community. We are just so thankful, appreciative — and excited about this new space.”

Also, in the Sikeston R-6 School District, there were three candidates on the ballot and three positions available for the Board of Education: Chad Bles, 1,745 votes; Aaron Boyce, 1,857 votes; and Benjamin R. Alcorn, 1,822 votes.