EJSD Voters Face Bond Decision

The East Jasper School District has a $10 million school bond issue on the ballot Dec. 16.

School officials say a new elementary school is on the agenda, with William J. Berry in need of a lot of repairs.

The district said it spent $150,000 last year just to make the school handicap- accessible. A new bathroom is one of the things that that money was used to do. Officials say heating and cooling units need frequent repairs.

"$10,000,000 is our bonding capacity for the district," said superintendent Gwendolyn Page. "So, we couldn't ask for any more than $10,000,000 and as far as construction, we cannot construct anything for less than $10,000,000."

Voters in the East Jasper School District will vote Tuesday on whether or not they want to raise their ad valorem taxes to make the changes. But the school board said the impact on property owners will be minimal.

"It's estimated that a home that has assessed valued at $50,000 and a car at $10,000, with a total of $60,000, the daily rate would be about 26 cents per day increase, $8 per month and $95.99 per year," said district finance director, Gwendolyn Taylor.

With talk over the years of possibly consolidating the East Jasper Schools District in Heidelberg with the West Jasper District in Bay Springs, one resident at a public meeting Wednesday expressed concern that investing in a new school now could be premature and a waste of money. However, district officials disagree.

"If that ever happens, in my opinion, would be more to consolidate the administrative branch of superintendents and principals not the physical facilities," said board attorney, David Sullivan. "You'll still need physical facilities such as in East Jasper and West Jasper."

If approved, district officials say the new school would likely be built next to the old one, with work starting next summer and wrapping up within about 18 months.

((Wipe ANCHOR READS))
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*CG full School Bond Hearing
Heidelberg, Miss.
- Sunday, December 14
- 3 p.m.
- Enterprise Bldg. in Heidelberg

Voting Day: Tuesday, Dec. 16
¶ANOTHER PUBLIC HEARING ON THE BOND ISSUE WILL BE HELD SUNDAY AT 3 AT THE ENTERPRISE BUILDING IN HEIDELBERG. RESIDENTS WILL VOTE ON THE ISSUE NEXT TUESDAY.


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