Propositions approved by local voters
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 25, 2012
By ROBIN SHANNON
LAPLACE – Less than nine percent of the voting population in St. John the Baptist Parish turned out to approve all six propositions that appeared on Saturday’s elections ballot, while in St. Charles, about 13 percent of the voters in that parish voted to approve initiatives to help the school system and hospital fund capital projects.
Saturday’s ballot also featured a runoff of a special election in St. James Parish for District 3 Gramercy Alderman, which attracted 28 percent voter turnout.
In St. John, voters favored renewal of a 10-year, 1-mill property tax renewal for maintaining and operating public buildings used to house mentally retarded persons by a vote of 2,303 to 361. The tax is expected to generate $360,000 per year.
The parish also passed renewal of a 10-year, 1-mill property tax renewal to maintain and operate parish senior citizens’ centers and provide funding for senior citizen programs operated by the St. John the Baptist Parish Council on Aging by a vote of 2,296 to 369. The tax is also expected to generate around $360,000 per year.
Residents also voted to approve a 1-mill reduction in an existing 10-year, 4.83-mill tax for providing, maintaining and operating electric lights on streets, roads, highways, alleys and other public places in the parish by a vote of 2,035 to 602. The reduced millage is being shifted to fund animal control and recreation. The tax is expected to generate about $1.4 million per year.
Finally, St. John residents approved the propositions allowing for the shift in road lighting funds to the Animal Control and Recreation departments. Maintenance and operation of animal control will now be funded through a 10-year, .75-mill property tax that is expected to generate $275,000 per year. The department is currently funded through public works, user fees and mosquito control. The proposition passed by a vote of 2,046 to 599.
The Recreation Department budget will now have access to a 10-year, 2.25-mill property tax for maintenance, operations and improvements to facilities. The Recreation Department is currently funded through video poker revenue and transfers from other departments. The tax is expected to generate around $830,000 a year. The proposition passed by a vote of 1,934 to 684.
Voters in St. John also authorized the parish School Board to borrow $11.6 million in bonds for construction and other maintenance within the school system. The bonds will be repaid over 20 years using an existing 2-mill property tax. The measure passed by a vote of 1,935 to 679.
In St. Charles Parish, voters authorized the St. Charles Parish School Board to borrow $45 million in bonds for construction and other maintenance within the school system. The money will be used to expand and renovate several schools. The district expects the expansions and renovations to reduce the number of portable buildings used in the district from 74 to 10, with two of those left as classroom space. The bonds will be paid off using an existing 5.86-mill property tax. The measure passed by a vote of 3,515 to 997.
The parish also approved a measure to allow St. Charles Hospital to borrow $15 million in bonds for construction and other maintenance within the parish hospital system. The money will be repaid over 20 years using an existing 3.16-mill property tax dedicated to hospital maintenance, to be used to build an after-hours clinic, an outpatient center and a cardiac catheter lab, among other improvements.
The proposition passed by a vote of 3,282 to 1,216.
In the Alderman race in Gramercy, Rhonda Lee squeaked out a one-vote victory over her opponent Craig Calcagno, Lee netted 93 votes to Calcagno’s 92.