No-tax increase school bond issue will address renovations, construction throughout district; city's capital improvement sales tax will change from 1/4-cent to 1/2-cent to address storm water issues

Palmyra voters approved two propositions on Tuesday's ballot and set into motion a no-tax bond issue for the Palmyra R-I School District and a 1/4-cent sales tax increase to begin working on storm water issues throughout the city.

Voters approved the Palmyra R-I School District's no-tax increase, $3.5 million bond issue proposal by a margin of almost 80 percent. About 60 percent of voters approved Proposition A, which will change the city's existing capital improvements tax from 1/4-cent to 1/2-cent to address stormwater repairs throughout the city.

Mayor Loren Graham said it will take about a year for funds to reach the level for projects to begin. He emphasized that city officials would refer to the Master Plan drafted in 2017 by Klingner and Associates as they prioritized which projects needed to be addressed first. He said the next step will involve making a list and setting up dates for projects, sticking to what voters expect from the measure.

“We told [voters] that if we passed this, we would start working on the storm water problem,” Graham said. “So it's important now that it's passed, that we follow through with what we promised.”

The Palmyra R-I School District will receive several improvements and construction projects during the summer, thanks to strong voter approval of Proposition 2. Superintendent Kirt Malone said two top priorities will be extensive renovation work and a new class space for the Vo-Ag building — which sustained water damage between exterior and interior surfaces since its construction in 1980 — and a full renovation of the Palmyra Middle School kitchen, including increased working space, new flooring and ceiling tiles and a new HVAC system. Additionally, the district will add keyless entry pads for security at the high school, construct a new wrestling area and build an all-weather track and field.

As Malone toured district facilities in mid-March, he stressed the importance of meeting the goals set in the district's long-range facilities plan more than 20 years ago.

“The school is very fortunate to be in a community that supports us and is proud of its school system,” he said. “Our responsibility is to maintain our facilities and our school buildings at a high level so that it’s a reflection of our community.”

trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com