Re-2 officials wake up to victory with passage of mill levy override
Re-2 School District officials didn’t go to bed Tuesday night while waiting for the final election results on the proposed mill levy override to come in.The unofficial final vote tallies were released at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, and the results were worth waiting for. The $2.7 million mill levy override passed 54 to 46 percent – with 4,225 votes in favor to 3,595 opposed.”We’re just completely excited,” said Dr. Gary Pack, superintendent for the Re-2 school district, on Wednesday morning. “We haven’t gone to bed yet, and we went and talked to the schools this morning to tell them. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to do everything the board wanted to put in place.”Funding from the mill levy override is slated to pay for teacher salaries, lower class sizes and help to open the new Coal Ridge High School between New Castle and Silt.”We will have a beautiful new school we can open,” Pack said. “We’re excited about the support from parents and staff. The board listened and re-formed this question differently. They took the time to listen to information and what people had to say. Hopefully, that was one of the major reasons people supported it this time.”The district proposed a $4 million mill levy override in the November 2003 election. It was overwhelmingly defeated by voters who later said that the amount of money was too large and the perception of a misleading campaign was too great.Not everyone was happy with this year’s mill levy override outcome.Ross Talbott is a former Re-2 school board president and was a vocal opponent to both mill levy override proposals.”What I hoped was that it wouldn’t pass so that the school district would have to reconsider their priorities,” Talbott said. “I think they’re spending money in all the wrong places.”School board president Vicki VanEngelenburg had said she was “cautiously optimistic” at the initial returns late Tuesday night.”We’re awaiting the outcome and we’ll stay up until the last vote is counted,” she said.According to the school district, the new mill levy override is expected to cost residential homeowners about $39 per $100,000 in property value ($3.26 per month) or $78 for the average $200,000 home ($6.52 per month).According to the school district, the new mill levy override is expected to cost residential homeowners about $39 per $100,000 in property value ($3.26 per month) or $78 for the average $200,000 home ($6.52 per month).
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