Two school bonds fail, Jacksonville ISD bond passes in vote

(KYTX) - Voters turned down bonds in both Gilmer and chapel hill for the school districts.

But Jacksonville voters passed a $22.78 million school bond by a small margin.

That $31 million bond in Chapel Hill would have added classrooms to the middle school and fixed other issues in the district.

But Chapel Hill wasn't the only one looking at negative feedback from voters.

Gilmer voters cut down 3 different proposals totaling $36.2 million.

"The people I talked to said they just couldn't afford the tax increase at this time. The un expectancy in the future, just couldn't afford it. If that's the problem, have to wait for better times," says Gilmer ISD Superintendent Rick Albritton.

Albritton says the bond would have replaced the 70 year old high school, paid for renovations at Bruce Junior High School, and built a multipurpose facility.

Voters didn't want the 30 percent increase in taxes.

"We'll conduct some surveys and try to find that out, down the road. Take a little bit of time off," says Albritton.

He says it's back to the drawing board to determine what needs to change, to get voters to agree to a bond in the future.

But it's a different story in Jacksonville.

"Our public has expectation of high achievement and here see results happening in the last couple of years," says Jacksonville ISD Superintendent Joe Wardell.

Wardell says the approval of the $22.78 million bond will create a new Westside Elementary, moving it from a busy road.

"That particular school is 62 years old and had 46 exterior doors. 46 doors in today's society that someone could walk up and walk into is really a security nightmare," says Wardell.

The school will be built on this land, the district acquired through the bankruptcy auction of Lon Morris, saving money overall.

The money will also help with additions to a second campus.

Taxpayers will see an 8% increase in their property taxes.

"Lot of things started this morning, that we won't see for quite a while," says Wardell.

Jacksonville is starting site surveys for the construction before any bids can be placed on the work.

Last night Chapel Hill said there may need to be more information to voters, and administration wants to hear from people what they think needs to be done.

Jacksonville's bond passed narrowly with less than 100 votes separating the sides.

Gilmer's bond failed by a large number.



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