Marion County voters held the fate of Proposition 2 in their hands Tuesday night. When their votes were tabulated, “yes” votes (274) outnumbered “no” votes (159) by a wide enough margin to provide the four-sevenths (57.14 percent) cushion that was needed overall.
“In the popular vote we did very well, but it came down to a ‘super majority.’ We needed 57 percent and we wound up at 58 percent,” said Dr. Jim Masters, superintendent of Monroe City schools.
Overall, 58.84 percent of voters approved the measure – 782-547. In addition to Marion County, Monroe County voters also supported the no-tax-increase proposal by a 423-286 margin. A majority of voters in Shelby (14 yes, 16 no) and Ralls (71 yes, 87 no) opposed the proposal.
“I had a sense it would be close,” said Masters. “The groups we spoke to were supportive, but also good questions were raised that gave people pause.”
Masters thanked school district patrons for both their support and questions.
“That’s how the process is supposed to work,” he said.
The process now begins to deliver everything that was promised and “creating new experiences for our students,” said Masters.
The superintendent was preparing to make calls to contractors on Tuesday night, informing them that the measure had passed.
Of the approximately $4 million bond proposal, just under $3 million will go to the construction of a new football stadium and track facility. The cost of upgrading the school district’s security will be around $200,000 while the technology upgrades will cost between $300,00 and $350,000.
The athletic improvements will consist of an eight-lane, all-weather track and an artificial surface for the football field, plus a rubber infield.
Work on the athletic improvements will begin “within days.” Security and technology contractors must still finalize their plans, according to Masters.
All the improvements are to be completed by the start of the 2014-15 school year.
“A district employee said tonight, ‘Now the hard work begins.’ But it’s a good kind of work. We’re excited,” said Masters.