Bond election set July 16 by St. John Parish Schools

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Staff Reporter

RESERVE- The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board approved a measure to seek permission to hold an election on July 16 to authorize the borrowing of $20 million in bonds.

The money would be used for a “wish list” for the school system, which would possibly include expansion of existing school buildings and the construction of new school buildings. Employee raises and purchasing new buses were also mentioned.

If the proposal passes, taxpayers would not have to worry about taxes being raised as a result of the proposal, but homeowners would have to continue paying a current property tax for another 20 years.

Though the proposal would create no new taxes, some board members were concerned about being too hasty to vote on a measure involving so much money. The special election would be held July 16.

Board member Keith Jones was especially adamant on the subject, saying several times throughout the discussion, “This is not $20, this is not $20,000- this is a lot of money.

“We need to talk to the community, and we need more input,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve had time to absorb this.”

However, the majority decided it was an opportunity the school district could not pass up, especially with the offer of low interest rates.

“Taxes will not raise one penny,” board member Russ Wise said, “We have a very narrow window of opportunity to get cheap money.”

Those who voted for the item were Wise, Dowie Gendron, Elexia Henderson, Clarence Triche, Lowell Bacas, and Gerald Keller and Phillip Johnson. Jones, Matthew Ory, Patrick Sanders and Russell Jack voted against it.

The item was proposed by Superintendent Michael Coburn.