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School Referendeum Set in Montgomery Co
Monday, 24 August 2009

August 24--  It's gut-check time for property owners and voters in Montgomery County.

The school board voted Monday night to ask Montgomery County voters if they will support the purchase of $10.9 million in bonds to help finance construction of an estimated $16 million middle and high school.  The board is also asking the state of Georgia for $5.2 million in school building funds.

If voters approve, the bonds will be paid through a continuation of the county's educational sales tax and a property tax hike of up to three-quarters of a mil.

Only one board member, Deloris James of Alston, voted against calling for the referendeum.  'Building a multimillion dollar facility while we're having to cut everything else, just doesn't make sense to me," she said.

However, the majority agreed with school superintendent Dr. Lynn Batten who noted low interest rates for bonds and low construction costs in the current economy will save the school board millions of dollars in the long run.

"If we continue to delay or if our citizens do not approve the referendum to build the new school, our present facilities will continue to age and become more expensive to maintain.  There's no doubt in future years, the cost to build will put a greater tax burden on our citizens.  Most important we'll be neglecting to do what is right for the education of our children," Batten said.

Five citizens at the meeting had questions about the project or objected to the project at this particular time.

Voters will have their chance to decide in a referendum being scheduled November 3.

 
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